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- 01 August 2013 00:00
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A Suffolk handball club, a young freerunner from Cornwall and a Felixstowe recreational assistant were all honored at Sport England’s second annual Sportivate awards at a glittering reception in Westminster.
Sportivate is Sport England’s National Lottery funded Olympic and Paralympic legacy initiative, which gives 14- to 25-year-olds who aren’t particularly sporty six to eight weeks’ free coaching in a new sport and then helps them find low costs ways to continue to play.
Awards were presented at a ceremony at the House of Commons to recognise some of the amazing Sportivate projects happening around the country and the young people benefitting from the Sport England programme.
The awards had two categories – best project and most outstanding participant – and winners were presented with a plaque and certificate by Sport England’s Parliamentary Fellow Tracey Crouch MP.
"The Sportivate Awards are a great chance to recognise some of the best projects and young people getting into sport for the first time,” said Crouch, the MP for Chatham and Aylesford.
" Hearing the different personal stories and about the projects was fantastic as well meeting the young people inspired into sport thanks to Lottery investment.”
Ipswich Handball Club took the national award for best project after a number of local Suffolk organisations decided to use the Sportivate programme to set up the area’s first affiliated club.
Staffordshire Parkour Group won silver thanks to the inspirational work of the six young members who lead weekly freerunning sessions while the bronze prize went Surrey Clubs for Young People in recognition of the hugely popular multi-sports sessions run in eleven youth clubs across the Croydon area.
Meanwhile two winners took joint gold in the most outstanding individual category.
Adam French, 22, has used sport as a springboard onto the job ladder due to an innovative gym and fitness project, partnered with Job Centre Plus in Felixstowe while Charlie Harris, 17, has developed a love of Freerunning/Parkour after being encouraged to join a group as part of Sportivate
The bronze award went to Ryan Carr, who was encouraged to try a trampolining session for the first time as part of the Sunderland City Council’s Lifestyle, Activity and Food Sportivate programme, which helps 14 to 16-year olds to make healthier lifestyle choices.
The individual winners also received complimentary tickets to the Sainsbury's Anniversary Games in July, courtesy of the National Lottery, while the winning Sportivate projects received vouchers for new sports equipment.
"I am delighted that we are able to celebrate and recognise the outstanding projects and people involved in Sportivate,” said Sport England chief operating officer Rona Chester.
"Sportivate is a hugely successful programme and this is reflected by these fantastic award-winning people and projects.”
Over 225,000 young people have attended Sportivate sessions and 190,000 have completed their coaching sessions – 83 per cent of whom are still playing the sport three months later.
Sportivate is being delivered by the network of 49 county sports partnerships, working with local clubs and providers. It is part of the official Olympic legacy programme and will benefit hundreds of thousands of young people until 2017.