THERE is no denying Team GB produced a sparkling performance on the international stage at the Rio Olympics as they inspired the nation and encouraged many aspiring athletes.
Now, as the Paralympic Games draw closer, Herefordshire & Worcestershire Sports Awards organisers feel it is important to recognise just how vital sport can be to some individuals through the BBC Power of Sport Award.
Stephen Brewster, Director of the Sports Partnership, said: “Although recognising sporting achievement is a key part of the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Sports Awards, this event is also our chance to highlight and appreciate the positive impact that sport can have on our lives.
“There are so many people within our local community who have transformed their lives because of sport and physical activity and we think these are the real winners and celebrate them.
“That’s why our new award, the BBC Power of Sport, will recognise an individual who has significantly changed and improved their life through adopting a more active lifestyle.”
Sponsored by BBC Hereford & Worcester, the BBC Power of Sport award recognises an individual who has significantly changed and improved their life through adopting a more active lifestyle. Improvements can be in their physical health, mental well-being, personal improvement, social development or any combination.
This year the Sports Partnership Herefordshire & Worcestershire has received funding from the Police & Crime commissioner to pilot a project to engage young people (aged between 16-24) who are offending, or at risk of offending, into sport or physical activity.
The partnership is hoping to engage young people through active participation, but also through sports-based qualifications and providing volunteering opportunities within a sports-based setting.
Sport has proved to be a successful diversionary activity and an effective way to engage with even the most challenging and complex individuals. It provides opportunities for these young people to develop social and employability skills alongside improving self-confidence, self-esteem and helping to reduce anti-social behaviour and offending.
Sport and physical activity is an alternative means of engaging in risk-taking and stimulating activities, allowing young people to access alternative peer groups and introduce them to a range a positive role models.
Other projects and schemes showcasing the benefits of sport include Jane Garner’s ‘Swim Inspiration’ ten-week programme, encouraging people that were overweight and with limited mobility to become more physically active.
The programme aims to increase their mobility and general health and well-being. Jane was granted the ‘Be Active’ Award in 2012 for her contribution to sport.
This year’s Herefordshire & Worcestershire Sports Awards will also include the Community Project of the Year award, which recognises an innovative project which uses sport and/or physical activity to improve and enhance the quality of life of the people of Herefordshire and/or Worcestershire.
In 2014 the ‘Make it like Mandeville’ project was crowned Community Project of the Year after creating coaching and volunteering placements with specialist training for disabled people and carers in the area, as well as directly improving local disability sports across North Worcestershire.
The Warriors Community Foundation is another previous award winner through the delivery of the Homeless Rugby project.
The foundation is responsible for delivering coaching sessions to residents at the Worcester YMCA and organising fixtures for them to play. The aim of the project is to create positive experiences for the residents through the sport of rugby, helping to improve their lives.
The awards ceremony will take place at Sixways Stadium on November 9 and will be a celebration of sporting talent and contribution across the two counties.
Nominations for the Sports Awards categories are still open so, if you know of anyone making their sporting contribution either through volunteering, sporting achievement, coaching, community projects or using sport to change their lives, organisers are very keen to hear from you. Please contact email@example.com or call 01905 542073.
There are also still sponsorship opportunities for awards, headline sponsorship and hospitality sponsorship. For further information, contact Sarah Mackay at firstname.lastname@example.org.