People who change lives through dedication and contribution to physical activity, leisure and sport were recognised at the 2018 Active Westminster Awards on Friday (7 December).
Athletics coach Simon Lloyd, who suffered serious injuries in a car crash in 1997, is a volunteer who works with children – some of whom have disabilities – and provides PE sessions in schools. He claimed the Active Volunteer award.
Another to be recognised with an award was Rashmi Becker, who established Step Change Studios – London’s first dedicated inclusive ballroom dance company – which gives opportunities for disabled and non-disabled children and adults to dance, including blind ballroom dance and wheelchair dance. Rashmi won the Active Inclusive Finalists award.
Rashmi said: “I am guardian to my disabled older brother and have seen the positive impact of physical activity on his life, and am passionate about the power of dance to improve lives.
“The response has been fantastic – in just one year, we have supported over 1,000 disabled children and adults to dance.”
Active Westminster’s strategy aims to encourage residents to lead active lives by making use of all the city has to offer.
Westminster City Council’s Deputy Leader Cllr David Harvey, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Education and Community, said:
“The Active Westminster Awards celebrate the people and organisations whose inspiring work makes a huge difference to our communities as we help residents to maintain healthier lives.
“It is important to recognise their outstanding contribution, as the services they provide and their remarkable dedication has a significant impact on the quality of life of people in our city.”
Some other winners were Mohamed Elnaiem, who has run voluntary organisations throughout the last 25 years in Westminster and took the Outstanding Contribution award, while 12-year-old synchronised swimmer Alexia Drositis was named Champion of the Future.
The event was held at Lord’s Cricket Ground and is now in its ninth year.
Commonwealth Games table tennis silver medallist and England women’s no.1 Tin-Tin Ho, a Westminster resident, was a special guest along with six-time Olympian Tessa Sanderson, who won gold for Great Britain in the javelin in the 1984 Games. Sky Sports’ David Garrido again presented the event.
Congratulations to all of the winners, and also to everyone nominated for the 10 awards given out on the night.
Full list of winners:
Champion of the Future Award Winner: Alexia Drositis. Alexia, aged 12, has been doing synchronized swimming for two-and-a-half years and trains at Seymour club. Alexia has passed all grades for her age group.
London Youth Games Award Winner: Lucas Mandilas. Lucas has, in all but one of the seven years of the LYG in which he has competed, won a medal in the canoe-slalom or sprint kayaking at the Paddlesport Regatta.
Westminster Boating Base LYG Sailing Squad
London Youth Games 2018 Fencing Team
Active Club Award Winner: Westminster Boating Base. WBB is a children’s charity focused on providing life skills for disadvantaged young people in Westminster through water sports. Providing water and land activities, it is a community facility for all ages and also has an active over-60s club.
Central London Lacrosse
Active Coach Award Winner: Julie McNamara. Instructor Julie has taught a wide range of fitness classes from aqua aerobics to group cycling and Pilates for more than 20 years. She has helped people with physical and mental health, even supporting some of them through bereavement and loss, and enabling them to achieve their fitness goals.
Active Volunteer Award Winner: Simon Lloyd. A children’s athletics coach, Simon works on Everyone Active’s disability programme, as well as teaching PE sessions at schools. After suffering serious injuries in a car crash in 1997, Simon has dedicated his time to helping young autistic athletes and their families, and by visiting prisons and referral units to talk about his experiences.
Sofia Marcel Whittles
Outstanding Contribution Award Winner: Mohamed Elnaiem. Mohamed has spent much of the last 25 years doing voluntary work, running several organisations – four in Westminster – to promote health, wellbeing and physical activity among residents.
Health, Wellbeing and Community Project Award Winner: Paddington Development Trust – Mozart Community Project. Mozart community champions work in the community, helping to improve mental health and promote positive lifestyle changes through physical activity and wellbeing sessions.
Churchill Gardens & Tachbrook Estate Community Champions Project
Active Inclusive Finalists Award Winner: Rashmi Becker & Step Change Studios. Westminster resident Rashmi is passionate about the benefits of dance to health and wellbeing. She established London’s first dedicated inclusive ballroom dance company in 2017, providing opportunities for disabled and non-disabled children and adults to dance, including blind ballroom dance and wheelchair dance.
Safe Haven Basketball Club
Disability Sports Coach & Community Club Westminster
Active Place or Space Award Winner: Sayers Croft Forest School. The school’s Wildlife Garden has been running outdoor learning sessions at Paddington Recreation Ground for five years. These sessions are for local schoolchildren and for other specialist groups. Sessions include tree-climbing and den-building, with more than 5,500 individual sessions last year.
Porchester Centre and Hall
Floating Pocket Park
Active Schools Award Winner: St Saviours C of E Primary School. The school offers many activities for children, including horse-riding, hockey, tennis, judo and athletics. It was also a pilot school for the Daily Mile, an initiative encouraging primary schools and nurseries to take children outside running for 15 minutes each day. The school also achieved the School Games Mark Gold award for 2017/18.
St Marylebone CE Bridge School
Hallfield Primary School