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Still time to nominate Harlow’s sporting heroes

Lifestyle / Tue 25th Aug 2015 at 08:07am

WITH the closing date for nominations edging closer now is your chance to celebrate your sporting heroes and those who have made outstanding contributions to sport and physical activity in Essex by nominating them for a 2015 Active Essex Sports Award.

From volunteers, coaches, clubs, schools and organisations, to high performing athletes, you can have your say on who receives the honours in the county’s top sports awards.

The 2015 Active Essex Sports Awards will be presented at Colchester United’s Weston Homes Community Stadium on December 2, 2015.

This is your opportunity to nominate inspirational people who are making sport and physical activity happen and are helping the next generation achieve excellence in Greater Essex.

Essex County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for Sport and Physical Activity, Councillor Ray Gooding, said: “Essex County Council is proud of its record in supporting sport and physical activity in Essex, and the Active Essex Sports Awards are an ideal platform for showing the tremendous work of the sports people, clubs, volunteers and various organisations that do so much to promote sport in the county.”

Active Essex wants the sports awards to ensure that talent, commitment and determination in all forms; from rising and accomplished superstars to those nurturing elite sporting talent or inspiring their local community to be more active, are celebrated.

Through nominating someone for an award you’ll help contribute to the Active Essex vision of a more physically active and sporting environment for all people in Greater Essex, and enable everyone to participate in the activity of their choice and to the level of their choice.

Gary Sullivan OBE, Chairman of Active Essex, said: “Our annual sports awards highlight those making outstanding contributions to sport and physical activity in our county. It is their passion and effort that keeps Essex at the top of the sporting charts; they are the local heroes inspiring the next generation.”

The award categories for 2015 are:

Sports Personality of the Year
Young Sports Personality of the Year
Disabled Sports Personality of the Year
Services to disability sport
Unsung Hero (Volunteer)
Young Community Volunteer (U18)
School or college of the Year
Sports Club of the Year
Coach of the Year
Physical Activity project of the year
Active workplace of the year
Changing Lives through Sport and Physical Activity
Last year there was also a special Inspirational Achievement Award presented to four-year-old swimmer Ava McCarthy from Harlow. At the awards ceremony there was not a dry eye in the house when Ava’s story was told. She was at 18 months in remission from cancer, had been swimming following her treatment to gain strength and have fun, and six months later was swimming 15 metres backstroke and nearly achieving five metres on her front. Her coaching helped Ava build strength in her muscles that the chemo took away and help regain her coordination. Her mum said she took to the swimming “like a fish”.

Ava’s mum Kerry said: “Ava was over the moon when she got her award. She’s still got it on her shelf in her bedroom and she loves it. She felt very special at the awards evening. She felt like a very special girl.

“When she looks back at what she has been through, it will be a nice memory for her. She has been on a long journey and now most of that journey is positive.”
Last year’s Unsung Hero award winner was 81-year-old black belt karate instructor Dot Naylor, who went on to receive the Prime Minister’s Point of Light Award, which recognises outstanding individual volunteers who inspire others, from David Cameron. Dot used her awards to call on others to get involved in sport.

“It’s stupid not to get involved in sport,” she said. “If I can still do it at my age, I don’t see why other people can’t.”

Dot also urged others to volunteer their services to sport in Essex. “They should get out and help people,” she said.

The closing date for nominations is October 19, 2015.

Nominations can be made through http://www.activeessex.org/sports-awards.

Visit www.activeessex.org/sportsawards to nominate someone or a team online.

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