The annual Get Berkshire Active Awards ceremony took place on the 28th February at the Hilton Reading to celebrate sporting excellence across the County as well as applauding the unseen work that goes on behind the scenes to make sport and physical activity happen. Awards were also made to the schools, community groups and workplaces who put physical activity and wellbeing at the forefront of their objectives.
Commenting on the Awards ceremony this year, Get Berkshire Active's CEO, Brett Nicholls, said: 'it is such a joyous and inspirational evening and our opportunity to thank all those who make sport and physical activity possible in Berkshire.'
Thirty seven individuals and organisations were shortlisted for the 8th GBA Awards and these are the names of the winners.
Sports Personality of the Year
Kayak racer Daniel, from Reading Canoe Club, became 200m Junior Men's European Champion in the Czech Republic and K1 200m and K4 500m Junior and U23 World Champion in Romania.
Junior Sports Personality of the Year
Just 16 years old Emily is an exceptional sportswoman. While representing RBWM in Italy, Emily was sportswoman of the tournament for performances in mixed tag rugby, swimming and basketball. After 3 years with Arsenal (which included winning the U18 FA Cup and being U16 captain) Emily moved to Chelsea where she trains with the first team and plays weekly with the U18 team. Despite setbacks with injury, Emily has captained England U17s and is representing England in the European Qualifiers at U17 level with hopes of reaching the World Cup in India in 2020.
Charlotte's hammer success this year included: gold at English Schools; 7th in the U20 European Championships; 4th in the U20 at Halle International, Germany; 3rd overall in the Loughborough International senior competition with silver in U20 and bronze in U23. Charlotte won gold and set a new British record for the U18 3kg hammer at the Dublin International. Charlotte is currently ranked #4 all time in the UK, #3 at U18 in Europe and #5 at U18 in the World.
Lifetime Achievement Award sponsored by Michael Burbridge Creative
Brian is a kayaking legend thanks to his dedication to the sport for 54 years. As a volunteer coach at Reading Canoe Club, he leads sessions three times a week to develop junior canoers. Brian also supports the: club family picnic; family Christmas paddle; fun sessions for children in care; introductory sessions for local secondary school children; and the k4 race series at Reading. A long serving committee member he is a cornerstone of the club. Brian has many kayaking records and international achievements. A modest man, not limited by his deafness, he inspires young and old as a positive role model on and off the water.
Gary and Kathy Critchlow-Smith
Over two decades this husband and wife team have impacted a generation of disabled and non-disabled people. A five-time GB Paralympian, Kathy has an impressive medal haul. Kathy and Gary, both level 3 coaches, lead weekly coaching sessions at SportsAble in Maidenhead. They run structured beginners' courses, and support everyone from grass roots to elite. By running fun Have-a-Go Archery for local groups and businesses, they reach new parts of the community and provide positive first experiences in Archery. Kathy and Gary inspire the next generation to get involved in inclusive local activities and to believe in their capabilities regardless of their ability or disability.
For over 46 fantastic years Hazel Syrad taught thousands of children in Reading how to swim, and in many cases, inspired them to begin their swimming journey. Despite not being able to drive Hazel never missed a session at Reading Swimming Club. Fiercely protective and loyal, Hazel treated her swimmers and teachers as part of her family. Her passion, personality, and leadership by example, have made her a club 'legend' who is held in high affection.
Community Club of the Year Award
sponsored by the Berkshire Unitary Authorities
Woodley United Football Club
With 40 teams, Woodley United FC provides male and female football from preschool minikickers to veterans. It hosted two football festivals for Year 1 boys and staged a two-day tournament that involved 130 youth teams. A charity match raised £1,500 for Sport in Mind and a match at Feltham Young Offenders Prison boosted recreational activities. The club raised awareness of football in the community via social media, the Woodley Carnival, and Woodley Business Club.
Physical Activity for Health Award
Since Good Gym Slough began in 2018, 836 good deeds were carried out by 109 participants aged 18-85 from all backgrounds. These supported 20 groups and 10 socially isolated older people. Over 6,000km were covered on runs or walks and over 3,000 hours were spent on community tasks such as gardening, litter picking, leaflet dropping, and painting.
Coach of the Year Award
sponsored by Field Seymour Parkes Solicitors
A volunteer at Reading Canoe Club since 1987, Nigel averages 12 hours a week coaching all ages and abilities from fitness paddlers to Olympic hopefuls. His efforts include transporting boats; summer picnic; Christmas paddle; core fitness; indoor ergo sessions; weekly time trials; technique sessions; and he even fitted a new kitchen. Nigel widens access by creating parings so paddlers with disabilities can participate.
Volunteer of the Year Award
Slough Hockey Club benefitted from Alison's dedication and enthusiasm. She is a player, female club captain, junior coach, ladies 3rd and 4th team manager, fundraiser and committee member. Alison's numerous successes included: organising the first ever Slough Junior Schools Girls Tournament; starting Back2Hockey; undertaking outreach coaching in local schools; and introducing walking hockey for older people. Her encouraging approach empowers girls to play sport.
Youth Engagement Project of the Year Award
Me2 Club supports young people (aged 5 to 19 years) with additional needs, disabilities, behavioural, emotional or mental health issues. The charity recruit, train and support volunteers who are carefully matched with a child to empower them to access a weekly mainstream leisure activity of their choosing.
Young Volunteer of the Year Award
sponsored by Everyone Active
A talented competitor Abbie has been an asset to Maidenhead Athletics Club since she was 7 years old. This year Abbie increased her volunteering, became a Level 1 coach; ran with a partially sighted girl; coached children with additional needs and looked after 24 boys in an U11 sportshall team. She's an inspirational young lady, who wholly supports her inclusive club, and passes on her knowledge and love of athletics.
Team Performance of the Year Award
sponsored by Places Leisure
Kick Twist Cheerleading
60 girls (aged 6+) from across Berkshire are part of this all-star competitive cheerleading team based in Woodley and Wokingham. This unconventional activity relies on discipline and trust which improves social development. Kick Twist are current Regional and National Cheerleading Champions. Their success qualified the team to compete at the European Cheerleading Championships in March 2020.
Active Primary School Award
sponsored by Playtime by FAWNS
Radstock Primary School
Pupils took part in 'The Big Peddle' (the UKs largest inter-school cycling, walking and scooting challenge), the Radstock 'Move it' mile and the Woodley Carnival Netball Festival. Staff, sports ambassadors and Get Active coaches provided a timetable of 14 sporting breakfast, lunchtime and after school clubs. The range of sports included: boccia, kurling, athletics, rounders, netball, orienteering cricket, and football. CPD improved teachers' confidence and delivery of PE.
Active Secondary School Award
sponsored by Playtime by FAWNS
'better movers' - 'better people' are at the heart of 'The Reading Way' which emphasises character development, mental health and well-being. As well as traditional sports, Reading School used local partnerships to offer climbing, canoeing, ultimate frisbee, stand up paddle boarding, taekwondo, essential movement skills, fitness, swimming, strength and conditioning, yoga, cycling, wrestling, lacrosse and fencing. Students also help run clubs and gain qualifications.