Inspiration of the Year

Welcome to the Community Sport and Recreation Awards 2022: Inspiration of the Year.

A new award, the Inspiration of the Year category celebrates individuals in the sport and recreation sector who have inspired others through the support they have provided to their community during the past 12 months. If successful, the individual will win the award and their club will receive a £1000 cash prize. 

Entries for the Inspiration of the Year category are now closed. The finalists for the 2022 Inspiration of the Year category are:

Steve Hall – Suffolk Golf Club

Steve Hall, PGA Professional at Suffolk Golf Club, was nominated for Inspiration of the Year for the work he has done in the past 12 months to help young people and NHS workers living through the coronavirus pandemic.

He persuaded the owner of his golf club to offer free membership for a year to all NHS staff, which 165 individuals have since taken up. While his golf club was closed, he visited local schools for free and delivered a fun and safe introduction to the sport using adapted equipment designed to introduce golf to large groups of people. In one of these secondary schools, he also taught a life skills programme from the Golf Foundation that helps develop resilience, confidence and emotional control.

His golf club also offer free junior membership to those aged 19 and under, which is uncommon in most clubs, and helps to encourage more young people into the sport.

Andy Craddock – Birmingham Wheelchair Basketball

Andy Craddock, of Birmingham Wheelchair Basketball, was nominated for Inspiration of the Year for continuing to support his community during the pandemic, when there was little opportunity for members of his club to be active.

Through the sharing of stories and experiences, Andy saw an opportunity to connect with people; after starting with interviews with local friends and contacts, the response was such that there have now been over 80 interviews with interviewees including Olympians and Paralympians. He fundraised and stayed active during lockdowns with several different initiatives – At Home Superheroes, At Home Winter Wonderwheels, Marvel Find Your Power and the Virtual London Marathon.

Andy also worked with Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games to deliver a showcase of the sport in the middle of Birmingham New Street Station.

Mary Tweed – Nordic Walking East Anglia

Mary Tweed, of Nordic Walking East Anglia, was nominated for Inspiration of the Year for providing instructors and clients with a way to connect during lockdown.

Aimed at the Nordic Walking community, Mary set up the free Walking on Air podcast in 2020. Each week she interviews an expert and focuses on a different topic – a condition that can be improved by Nordic Walking, or techniques for different terrains, for example. The podcast has helped to raise awareness of Nordic Walking and promote it to groups it could benefit that might have felt excluded from physical activity, such as those living with a long-term health condition such as Parkinson’s or M.S.

Mary had published 29 podcast episodes at the time she was nominated, with over 6000 downloads, and plans to continue inspiring others through her conversations.

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