Last year, a challenging time for the whole world and our county, the GBA Awards recognised the fantastic contribution of local individuals and organisations to the mental and physical wellbeing of Berkshire residents. The 'Berkshire physical activity lockdown hero', a campaign celebrating the 9th GBA Awards' winners on BBC Radio Berkshire and social media, united residents, communities and activity providers around the joy and importance of physical activity and helped keep spirits high in the county during the winter lockdown.
This year, as we are recovering from the pandemic, the 10th GBA Awards will continue recognising individuals and organisations that contributed to a healthier and more resilient Berkshire. There is one award category – the 'Berkshire physical activity hero'.
Jo Parker, Head Coach for Crowthorne RFC, has delivered more than 1000 training sessions during her time at the club. During what was a difficult time for the world, she went above and beyond to keep the club going. Putting on weekly fitness-based challenges remotely, she converted their Facebook fitness group into an activity and points tracker, creating new games, and new challenges keeping everyone motivated. Some of these challenges included RED January, team building games, running, and walking the 18,790km to New Zealand and back, as well as a reps challenge which saw them do 22,000 in a week. When sport was able to resume, Jo arranged weekly circuit workouts at the club and handmade everyone 'trophies' once they were allowed to meet.
"To be honest, it isn't unusual for Jo Parker to be going above and beyond. She is the lifeblood of our rugby team, The Thorns, and has been for as long as many of us can remember. You want to learn to play? She'll coach you. You want to chat, she's listening. Desperately need a hug… you guessed it." – Kimberlie, member of Crowthorne RFC.