Community sporting heroes from north Northants recognised for excellence at glittering awards ceremony
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People contributing to health and wellbeing, physical activity and sport were recognised at North Northamptonshire Council’s (NNC) Active Communities Awards.
The celebration of health, wellbeing and sporting excellence at Kettering Conference Centre saw sports performers, clubs, schools, groups and organisations honoured.
Wellingborough sporting hero Anita Neil was on hand to share her story as the first British female black Olympian.
Cllr Helen Howell, deputy leader of NNC and executive member for sport, leisure, culture and tourism, said: “Sport and physical activity is an integral part of our local community and North Northamptonshire Council are extremely proud to recognise all the individuals, clubs, schools and organisations that contribute to making North Northamptonshire a great place to be active.
“The awards couldn’t happen without out our sponsors so a huge thank you to all of the organisations that have supported the 2022 North Northamptonshire Active Communities Awards, it’s great to see local organisations supporting the community in this way.”
The award winners were:
Community Club of the Year: Corby Hellenic Youth Football Club – Members have worked tirelessly to overcome major issues to rebuild and strengthen their club.
Community Group/Organisation of the Year: Kings Cliffe Active Charity (KCA) – KCA has supported the community to be more active together and improved the quality of facilities.
Sports Activator of the Year: Ben Collins who works at St Mary’s CEVA Primary School, Kettering, as the sports lead. He runs 34 free clubs across the year, set up an inter-school sports series and volunteers as a coach for Kettering Town FC.
Community Champion of the Year: Jeremy Strutt at East Carlton Cricket Club. Jeremy volunteers his time to support and grow the club and has helped to fundraise for equipment and a scoreboard.
Young Volunteer of the Year: joint winners Ellis Bird and Millie Brading.
- Ellis has supported football training sessions, fixtures and has taken on an officiating role at his school.
- Millie, 13, has been a member of Kettering Hockey Club for eight years and now helps to coach the under 10s squad.
Disability Sports Performer of the Year: Maisie Summers-Newton, Commonwealth Games and double Paralympic gold medalist, has been visiting schools inspiring young people and educating students on swimming and disabilities.
Health And Wellbeing Initiative: Support Northamptonshire Ladies Swimming – an initiative started in February 2022 to help women from the Asian community get back into exercise after the pandemic. The initiative has seen 15 ladies regularly participate in weekly swimming sessions, helping to break down isolation and boost mental health.
Workplace Wellbeing Award: Cottingham CofE Primary School – the school has introduced a staff shopping day during Christmas, staff yoga sessions on inset days and staff meals. The school offers a spiritual council and a Magnificent Mind Group who help organise events and activities for their peers to enjoy. Pastoral support for both children and adults is available supported by the senior leadership team. Staff have created a mental health policy and action plan.
Sport School of The Year (Primary): St Marys CofE (VA) Primary Academy, Kettering – St Mary’s run 34 free after-school clubs for students including parkour, dance, archery and dodgeball. Working with Kettering Town FC, the school has led an interschool football league and interschool sports event. St Mary’s were able to have 92 per cent of Year 6 students leave the school being competent swimmers.
Sport School of The Year (Secondary): Bishop Stopford School – the school’s broad and balanced PE curriculum allows students to experience a wide range of activities from traditional sports to new contemporary activities such as parkour, flag football and accessible sports such as goalball. Students are given leadership opportunities including the Legacy Leaders and County Leadership programmes.
Get Active Young Person of the Year: Jamie Arthur Jones – despite living with nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy, Hashimoto’s disease and hypermobility, Jamie enjoys a range of sports and activities including cricket, creative core, drumming, gravity bounce and diving. Attending the clubs in Corby has helped with his physical and mental health.
Get Active Award: Shelia Stanforth – despite breaking her hip in three places and having restricted use of one of her arms, Sheila participates in weekly seated exercise classes with a smile. Since attending the sessions, Sheila has had a massive improvement in her range of movements and mobility.
Young Sports Person of the Year: Alice Bates has had an outstanding year over road, cross country and track which has seen her win a National Championship and selected to represent Great Britain at the European U18 Championship. She finished fifth at the School Games National final earning her first England vest for a home international.
Local Sports Performer of the Year: Maisie Summers Newton – Maisie has achieved outstanding results in the past year and has won titles on the global stage at two of the biggest events within the sport, the Paralympics and Commonwealth Games.
Outstanding Recognition Award: Jeffrey Gonsalves – Jeff unfortunately passed away in August 2022. As a pillar of the martial arts community for more than 30 years, Jeff dedicated his time to run sport sessions for young people and adults. Jeff ran the Fit and Fed project which provided young people in areas of deprivation, access to sports activities and a hot meal to combat holiday hunger.