In 2017, we unveiled our vision to change one million lives by getting people active in Essex.
Across the length and breadth of the county, we have some incredibly inspirational residents who have been adopting sport and physical activity to improve the lives of their own as well as inspiring others.
In our new blog, we will be sharing their stories and celebrating the positive impact of physical activity and sport.
Help us in sharing these stories and inspiring others #AE1inamillion
Charlotte is a mum of 2 who dedicates her spare time to helping ladies in her local community of Harwich. After her Nan, an outwardly fit woman suddenly passed away, Charlotte became determined not to follow down the same road of making poor lifestyle choices.
Sisters Natalie and Terri grew up being very active; both black belts in Judo, both competing at county level and even representing Ireland in the World Championships. However, somehow over the years life got in the way and exercise and a healthy lifestyle took a back seat. Last year they decided this needed to change. They both joined a Walking Netball team at Basildon Sporting Village and this inspired them to make the time for exercise.
Leah Lambert runs the Brentwood Tea Dance bringing together those with dementia for a cup of tea and dance to some much loved tunes. Whilst the fortnightly meetings are aimed at those with dementia, one of the biggest issues facing older people is loneliness so that is why the door is open to all.
Mark is head of operations for Braintree Town Football club’s community charity organisation – Community Iron. Mark has lost 7 stone in weight and he continues to support helping youngsters through the work of Community Iron.
“We work in some of the most deprived areas of the county who find it difficult just getting by, let alone exercising or sport, which doesn’t really come on their agenda. We’re trying to engage with them and provide fun multi-sport activities and childcare at the same time.”
Richmond Primary School strives to create multiple opportunities for pupils to fully embrace physical activity into daily school life. Over 400 students and staff complete their Daily Mile, no matter what the weather, a true inspiration!
Much has been discussed about the drop off in physical activity levels as people age…Since 2011 however there has been a sharp rise in popularity for Walking Football… Spencer Pratten, captain of the England over 60’s walking football team.
This month’s ‘Active Essex 1 in a Million’ is All Together ambassador Justine Harrington. Justine was born with a condition that causes a visual impairment whilst the medication she takes makes her gain weight which affects, among other things, her self-confidence.
Over 224,000 adults across Essex volunteered in the provision of Sport and Physical Activity last year. Volunteer roles cover all sorts of actions, it could be providing transport, administrative roles or coaching others. These unsung heroes help so many people, achieve their goals, emulate their heroes and be active, happier individuals. One of these such people is Nicolas Saxby, our April One in a Million, a volunteer at the Canvey Yellow Door programme.
Lifestyle changes can be affected by an individual’s adventure, but more often than not there are people involved along the way that help the journey to becoming more active… Our March 1 in a Million focuses on one of these groups who help and inspire others.
Carla Andrews is the founder of Motivated Minds, a non-profit group aimed at delivering lifelong health and wellbeing solutions in the community.
“Do something, no matter how small, and build up.”
After hearing Paula’s ambitious approach to sport and physical activity it’s impossible to not feel inspired to try new sporting challenges, and to go from Couch to 5k’er to Ultra Marathoner (hopefully!) over 2 years is proof that anybody can do it.
Paul was a mine warfare specialist in the British Navy until he was injured on active duty suffering horrific injuries. This has left Paul wheelchair bound…With the assistance of help for heroes and his wife, Paul became more active, participating in a variety of disability adapted activities.
“Not all of the remarkable stories that sport creates are of achievements. There is an incredible legion of people who work tirelessly behind the scenes, volunteering not for their own activity but for the enjoyment and opportunity of others.”
“2012 inspired me to get more active, i’ve lost 3 and a half stone and train 3/4 times a week, handcycling 60-70 miles per day. I lift weights in the gym and have started teaching children and other to promote physical activity and help people with disabilities become more independent.”
The older population is one of the key groups in Greater Essex likely to be inactive and under-represented. Tina is an active-runner, who regularly takes part in the Southend parkrun, as well as aqua aerobics, badminton, cycling and boot camp.
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If you are feeling inspired and want to find out more about clubs, sports and activities in your area, visit our activity finder at https://www.getactiveessex.com/