A talented teenage swimmer, a Marylebone-based taekwondo academy and a local primary school where pupils run the Daily Mile were recognised for their contributions in helping people participate in physical activity, leisure and sport across the borough at the 2019 ActiveWestminster Awards.
Celebrating their tenth anniversary, the awards took place on Friday 22 November and were hosted by Sky Sports presenter, David Garrido with special guests Team GB basketball player, Melita Emanuel-Carr and former England footballer, Rachel Yankey OBE.
The ceremony also featured a number of performances from local artists the Mangrove Steel Pan band, the Blend Choir, Bollywood dancing from Step Change Studios, singer and ActiveWestminster team member, Yiannis Chrysanthou and freestyle footballer, Aguska Mnich.
A record 275 nominations were received for this year’s Awards ranging from residents and local clubs and schools through to ActiveWestminster partners and Westminster-based elite athletes. All the 31 finalists have been recognised for the vital role they play in using physical activity, leisure and sport to encourage Westminster residents to get and stay active.
Grade II* listed Porchester Hall, which is operated by Everyone Active on behalf of Westminster City Council, recently celebrated its 90th anniversary having opened its doors in September 1929.
Cllr James Spencer, Westminster City Council’s Deputy Cabinet Member for Sports, Culture and Community said: “The ActiveWestminster Awards offers an opportunity to say a big thank-you to the people and organisations whose inspiring work in physical activity, leisure and sport make such a difference to our residents and communities. Congratulations to all of our winners, who all strive to encourage everyone in the community to lead more active lives.”
Everyone Active Contract Manager Andy Davison said: “The Porchester Centre, Spa and Hall is an iconic pillar within our community and this year the facility is celebrating its 90th Birthday so to win an award really is the icing on the cake. It’s a testament to the amazing work our team do. The ActiveWestminster Awards are a fantastic way to celebrate all those helping to keep our community active and we would like to congratulate everyone else who won an award.”
Winners on the evening were handed their trophies by Westminster City Council, Lord Mayor Cllr Ruth Bush. The full list of winners is:
Active Club or Organisation
Based at Seymour Leisure Centre, the Academy has nearly 100 participants every week, ranging from ages five to 60. It welcomes members of all abilities and cultural backgrounds. In addition to taekwondo, the students learn discipline, respect and sportsmanship.
Champions of the Future
Edward joined Chelsea and Westminster Swimming Club when he was four and started swimming competitively at nine. Now aged 13, he is one of the youngest National Performance swimmers at the club, winning gold in every event he entered at the County Championships and London Regional Championships.
London Youth Games
The kayaking team from Westminster Boating Base finished first in the London Youth Games sprint category and fifth in the slalom. Its sailing team came away with a silver medal, the base’s best ever team sailing result in the Games. Westminster Boating Base puts the Kayak squad together from their open community youth sessions, which anyone can take part in whatever their ability levels.
Active Space or Place
Opened in 1929 and designed by local architect Herbert Shepherd, the Porchester Centre, Spa and Hall is an iconic Grade II listed building. The facility is operated by Everyone Active in partnership with Westminster City Council and offers a range of facilities including a main pool, squash courts, a state-of-the-art 140 station gym, an elegant art deco 1920s event hall and the Porchester Spa. The facility has more than 3,500 members.
Sports for Confidence works with Westminster’s leisure centres to ensure people who face barriers to participation can get involved in a variety of sporting activities. Sophie and Fanuel have been developing organisational cohesion, peer relationships and developing the meaning of sport for people in minority groups at the Moberly Sports Centre, educating staff there on hidden disabilities and the importance of positive communication.
Health, Wellbeing and Community Project
The Middle Eastern Women & Society Organisation delivers projects that improve mental, physical social and emotional well-being among women. These include weekly advice services, as well as exercise workshops such as pilates, yoga, a Walk and Talk Group, and dance movements, Mindfulness, Meditation and massage sessions.
Angela is a longstanding community champion in Queens Park who makes a huge difference by running a wide range of health and well-being activities and workshops. She hosts an after-school club, encourages healthy eating and exercise among local children, supports elderly residents and teaches women’s only swimming sessions.
Hallfield continues to ensure that physical activity is a key part of school life. It is a lead school in the Daily Mile initiative, which sees pupils run every day. The school is working towards a silver Healthy Schools Award and has also achieved a gold award for the Schools Games Mark.
Thomas is a youth worker at St Andrew’s Club in Westminster’s Old Pye Street, and is also a football and boxing coach.
Outbreak: Pimlico Foundation
Outbreak is part of the Pimlico Foundation, a Christian charity that strives to create positive futures for young people living in Pimlico. Outbreak connects, empowers and brings hope to young people, offering mentoring as well as holiday and lunchtime clubs and sports activities including football.