Alliance puts grassroots sport and recreation clubs in the spotlight

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The Sport and Recreation Alliance has recognised five grassroots sport and recreation organisations from across the country at the 2017 Community Sport and Recreation Awards.

Celebrating the breadth and depth of the power of sport and recreation, the Awards recognised initiatives for their achievements in areas including social cohesion, mental health, volunteering and innovation.

The winners received their award and a prize of £1,000, presented by HRH The Earl of Wessex, at an awards ceremony at SOAS, University of London.

Together with the 2017 Community Sport and Recreation Awards, the Alliance also celebrated the dedication of outstanding individuals in the sport and recreation sector. Jenny Fromer, the former joint-CEO at BaseballSoftball UK (BSUK) and Mike Hamilton, the Chief Executive of British Orienteering, received the 2017 Emeritus Award, recognising their sustained service to grassroots sport and recreation.

Sir Philip Craven MBE, President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), was the third individual to be recognised as the winner of the 2017 Arthur Bell Trophy, for the outstanding leadership he has shown in raising the profile and opportunities surround Para sport, both at a Paralympic and grassroots level.

Sport and recreation can make a difference to people’s lives in their local community and through the Community Sport and Recreation Awards the Alliance hopes to make sure that more people also appreciate the role that the sector can play. The Power of Sport and Recreation gives an overview of the Sport and Recreation Alliance’s work to reinforce the value of sport and recreation at a local community level. It includes the year’s successes and reflects on how the Alliance will continue to lobby for sport and recreation to be considered as a key policy tool in tackling some of the nation’s biggest social issues.

The 2017 Community Sport and Recreation Award winners are:

Ready Steady Active, based in Batley and Dewsbury, scooped the Added Social Value Award sponsored by Substance. The initiative works closely with young girls and women from Muslim and South Asian communities to help break down the barriers they often face when getting involved in physical activity. Through open and accessible sport and physical activity opportunities, Ready Steady Active, aims to help participants build confidence and practical skills. 

An inclusive rock climbing programme at The Castle Climbing Centre won the Innovation Award. The sessions, which have been running for the past four years for children and adults with physical and/or learning difficulties, use existing technology to help them get involved and enjoy the many benefits of climbing. 

The Mental Health Award sponsored by Hiscox was awarded to Everton in the Community for the organisation’s Imagine your Goals programme, which is in partnership with Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust. The initiative, used the power of football to positively address mental health illness by raising awareness and challenging societal stigma.

The Professional Community Programme of the Year Award sponsored by the Professional Footballers’ Association was awarded Derby County Community Trust’s Active Choices programme. The initiative is a personalised prevention programme considering a person’s health status, lifestyle and personal preferences and provides support in the recovery and community integration of people who use Class A drugs and those misusing alcohol.

Volunteering is one of the four key strands of the Sport and Recreation Alliance’s strategy and this year the Community Sport and Recreation Awards recognised Hillingdon Slipstreamers for putting volunteering at the heart of their community club. The Volunteering Award, sponsored by Join In, celebrated the clubs passion for providing children and young people with the opportunity to build skills through volunteering.

The 2017 Community Sport and Recreation Awards exemplify the work that goes on up and down the country to make sure that people from all ages, backgrounds and abilities are able to enjoy the benefits of being physically active. The Alliance looks forward to continuing to work with each award winner to raise the profile of their club and evidence the difference it is making to the local community.