Inspiration of the Year, supported by Kim Leadbeater MP

Welcome to the Community Sport and Recreation Awards 2024: Inspiration of the Year, supported by Kim Leadbeater MP

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.

Find out more about each of this year’s finalists below:

Allyson Irvine, The Ripple Effect

Selflessly giving up her time to help others with life-changing disabilities, Allyson has done some truly incredible work across a variety of different sports.

Herself a double below knee amputee, Allyson volunteers at her local hospital limb centre where she helps to support others with limb loss. She combines this with volunteer work for LimbPower and a Nordic walking group, and has also recently taken part in the Ripple Effect project from Swim England, becoming a qualified Timekeeper and Level One Judge.

Allyson has a passion for helping others and has had a profound impact on a number of individuals, both disabled and non-disabled, although her personal experience means she is viewed as a role model by others she helps with limb loss.

Mohammed Zafran, BEM, BCAc

Ove the last 12 months, Mohammed has delivered over 35 projects in Birmingham and across the West Midlands in both football and cricket.

His primary objective is to divert young people away from crime and towards education and employment, using sport as his main tool to engage them. He has set up football tournaments and leagues, as well as cricket fun days, T10 and T20 competitions, and boxing, physical fitness and snooker sessions. He has inspired over 40,000 young people in the West Midlands and many more across the UK.

Mohammed was awarded with a British Empire Medal (BEM) by Queen Elizabeth II for his work helping young people in the West Midlands.

Richard Powers, Newquay Boxing Academy

A dedicated advocate for community empowerment and mental health awareness through boxing, Richard Powers has created a welcoming and inclusive space at Newquay Boxing Academy.

He has established several fantastic community projects including the ‘Parky Blinders’ initiative, which gives people living with Parkinson’s disease the opportunity to take part in boxing sessions tailored to them – which has developed into an amazingly supportive community of people. Richard has also created a veterans and military forces boxing session focused on supporting mental health and wellbeing, alongside many other initiatives.

This year, to help combat the cost-of-living crisis, Richard has offered free classes to parents who have been struggling financially, helping to improve their overall health and wellbeing.

Ryan Carstairs, The Ripple Effect

Ryan is a young man who has combined his schoolwork with volunteering in technical officiating in swimming, while inspiring young swimmers and those he works alongside.

As someone who is profoundly deaf and autistic, Ryan has been supporting those both in the deaf and hearing communities through his volunteering as a Timekeeper, and offers constructive support and encouragement to swimmers in his other role as junior coach. He is currently a Level One Teacher and is also working towards his Level One Judge qualification.

Ryan has accomplished all of this while dealing with the loss of his beloved grandad, who was a huge support to his swimming, and supporting his mum through her recent cancer diagnosis.

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