Congratulations to our 28 shortlisted nominees!
After an incredibly difficult 18 months, we were blown away by the 270+ nominations that we received across our ten Awards categories for the 2021 London Sport Awards, supported by the City of London Corporation.
A huge thank you to everyone who took the time to complete a nomination, the standard of submissions was extremely high which reflects the enormous amounts of dedication and effort from across the physical activity and sport sector.
Our 12 judges, all of whom are industry experts, faced a number of difficult decisions to select the 2021 shortlist which is available, in full, below. We look forward to sharing more about each of our nominees in the build-up to and during the London Sport Awards 2021.
London Sport Awards 2021 Shortlist:
Community Impact Award:
The Community Impact Award, in association with GameDay, captures and celebrates a wide cohort of not only grassroots physical activity and sport clubs, but also groups, teams and projects, in sports setting or parks and streets.
Social Organisation for Unity and Leisure (SOUL) was set up by a group of young people residing in Tower Hamlets, with a vision to inspire agents for change and influence systems.
Over the years SOUL has developed programmes catering to hundreds of young people and families across Tower Hamlets.
Their sports academy engages with over 100 young people on a weekly basis, digitally during lockdowns. They also run mentoring, educational support, leadership training, volunteering, and ran programmes delivering food, activity packs, essentials and baby and mother essentials, helping over 1,500 families through the pandemic.
Core Sports helps adults with severe mental health issues.
They switched to online provision during the restrictions; now, classes are provided in person with a video link-up for home participants. 100 sports Vimeo classes were created too: ballet, box fit, circuit training and chair-based aerobics.
In addition, they provided sessions to discuss weight, foods and healthy living and a weekly quiz night for clients and their families who were isolated, to socialise together in the evening. Over 600 vulnerable clients accessed our sports videos and zoom classes as well as coming in for booked face to face sessions.
Carney’s Community is a charity targeting disadvantaged groups, using a combination of boxing and long term, consistent, unconditional support, with empathy.
Activities include free boxing fitness sessions, training for disadvantaged people to become coaches or personal trainers, the Fit & Fed programme, providing meals to participants, cooking classes, youth clubs, bike maintenance training, motivational discussions, and even a good-will based “Key Work” scheme providing unconditional help to those most in need.
Many activities were adapted during the pandemic, including virtual boxing classes, delivering ingredients for online cooking, or delivering 5,000 meals – Stormzy even came down to help.
Health and Wellbeing Award:
The Health and Wellbeing Award, in association with Gympass, highlights significant achievements in using physical activity to promote physical and mental health and wellbeing, emphasising how being physically active plays in supporting health outcomes.
Diabetes Decathlon is a ten-week structured education prevention programme aimed at those at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Decathletes attend weekly and within their teams collaborate to discover how to best reduce the risks through theory sessions, games, discussion and a weekly 45-minute physical activity session including variety of sports.
Decathletes compete in teams to achieve increased activity levels in between sessions to win “Sweatcoins” and redeemable prizes, and also by watching learning recap videos and participating in weekly quizzes.
One individual experienced weight loss of 6kg and 1,000,000 steps were achieved in a single week by the group.
Over the pandemic, Open Age provided 40 weekly Zoom sessions; 42 videos on YouTube; and four weekly group-based telephone sessions – and now run 16 weekly in-person physical activities.
In addition to its general physical activity provision, including boxing, ballet, zumba, yoga and chair exercise, Open Age has continued to offer its three clinical exercise programmes remotely: Healthy Lungs for those with long-term breathing conditions; Osteo Blast for those with Osteoporosis/Osteopenia; and Steady and Stable for those at risk of falls.
Nearly 900 participants have engaged since May 2020, benefitting from improved physical, mental and social health.
Social Action for Health’s Good Moves helps with Diabetes, Hypertension, Cardiovascular Disease, and Chronic Kidney Disease – conditions disproportionately prevalent within the Black Asian and Minority ethnic communities. Courses are culturally sensitive, delivered in English, Bengali (Sylheti), Somali, Vietnamese and Chinese.
Good Moves is an eight–week course, 1.5 hours rising to three hours per week. Physical activities involve 30 minutes low impact exercises: light movement, chair–based exercises, breathing exercises, and traditional cultural dance movements.
Good Moves also involves emotional wellbeing, nutrition and healthy eating, cooking sessions, good night sleep strategies and weekly phone calls which reduce attrition.
Enhancing the Workforce Award:
The Enhancing the Workforce Award, in association with Chipotle, recognises those enhancing the sporting workforce; whether it’s supporting, training or mentoring coaches, volunteers, administrators or officials.
The ACE Programme was launched by Surrey County Cricket Club in response to the drastic decline in Black British professional players.
They also work to support the development of quality coaches and volunteers from within the local community, alongside a thriving school programme, and an accredited Princes Trust programme.
The charity supports diverse talent by building grassroots cricket programmes, developing talent pathways and establishing talent ID systems for young people. One young female has made her way through the England pathway and broken county junior records along with one young male representing Surrey in the Under 18s team.
This year, StreetGames London has delivered over 75 workshops and 8 accredited courses to over 1,000 learners. StreetGames strengthens communities and transforms lives, through a network of 1,500 Locally Trusted Organisations – from a dedicated, grassroots community.
StreetGames supports 300 organisations in their Sport 4 Good network. Their award-winning training academy – reimagined over the lockdowns to be fully accessible online – ensures they were able to continue to support their network when most needed.
In addition, StreetGames Training Academy draws on more than 15 years of experience in some of the hardest to reach communities in London.
The Futures programme was launched to get players into the coaching and refereeing side of grassroots football, and has developed and trained more than 20 young people to be qualified referees.
A former participant, Leigh Gell, has recently been appointed Women’s Football Recreation Officer at Manchester FA. A student of sports psychology at Loughborough, she brought a new dynamic to the way of coaching at the Wildcats centre and became a fond favourite with all the young budding female footballers.
Young volunteers are provided with a proper training kit, and full referees kit and accessories once passing their referees exam.
Uniting London Award:
The Uniting London Award, in association with Sport England, celebrates organisations and projects that utilise physical activity and sport to build cohesive communities by bringing people together to welcome and embrace ethnic, cultural, physical and other differences.
The #NetballForGood experience day brought together 18 vulnerable young women from all backgrounds, deemed to be at risk of entering the justice system and/or gang grooming, to realise their potential through netball. This was the first ever youth diversion day for girls.
The day involved a skills session followed by match play, a Q&A with Pulse’s star Goal Shooter and Vitality Roses Futures player, Olivia Tchine, plus a talk from Janet Hills MBE, the Chair of the Metropolitan Black Police Association.
Every participant described having a positive experience with the Police at the event.
MovementWorks engage in mainstream and special schools, early years provisions, community leisure facilities and with groups supporting children and adults with additional needs.
Programmes optimise physical development, emotional wellbeing, social skills and educational growth. Participants come from ethnically diverse communities and many are disadvantaged children, young people and adults with developmental delays or disabilities.
Over lockdown, ‘MovementWorks Online’ directly supported the challenges of home schooling through movement-based learning especially for children already at an educational disadvantage, offering recognisable faces and a joyful gentle programme of dance-movement activities in a safe and understanding virtual space.
Rathbone Amateur Boxing Club’s outreach arm has reached many groups within London’s local communities since the onset of the pandemic both virtually and in person.
The ‘Proud to #FightTogether’ programme has provides LGBTQ+ friendly sessions that actively target members of the community and address concerns to make them feel welcome in a sport that has not been historically.
In addition, the club delivers a number of education and employment programmes under their ‘Podium Potential’ banner, including support for those with fewer opportunities, including mentoring, CV and interview workshops, industry one to ones and training and equipment.
Inspirational Young Person of the Year:
Inspirational Young Person of the Year, in association with BBC Radio London, recognises the young people who are achieving incredible things through their work, voluntary or paid, within their local community, club, team, group, project or organisation.
Following the support of the Local People Project, Kieran Matthews has become a local ambassador and set up his own basketball club (Capital Titans), and an emergency basketball group through lockdowns.
He was involved in gangs as a teenager but has become a positive male role model, and a Youth Sport Trust Youth Board member.
Kieran and two of his support coaches delivered online basketball sessions during the pandemic, which developed into 1-2-1 talking sessions. When demand increased, a professionally trained counsellor came on board to assist with these calls. Kieran translated this experience into an online mental health course.
At 22, Charlie had the ambition to develop a football club where all children could have access to high-quality services – despite their ability to pay or play. Bloomsbury Football offers children’s first football experience and engagement activities are for children willing to commit to a team setting.
Charlie created a bursary schemes to allow those of low-income families to participate. In 2020, 52% of all beneficiaries were supported by the scheme. In only three years of existence, Bloomsbury Football raised over £800k.
Bloomsbury Football has provided over 2,000 hours of football in Camden, Westminster and Islington, promoted mental health initiatives for girls and a disability football programme.
Charlie’s initiative has supported children like Joao, 13, who moved to London from Lisbon after tragically losing his parents. Joao wouldn’t experience youth football if it wasn’t for the bursary.
Since the age of 15, Elvire has led Konverse Dance crews – a youth project supported by the Barking Salvation Army.
Even whilst preparing for her GSCEs, her aim was to get young people from under-represented groups, like herself, off the streets. Konverse dance crews now offers 5 classes for 5-19-year-olds plus a parents’ class. Receiving multiple accolades and involved in numerous projects and events, Elvire is a true community leader.
She also supported six young people in becoming dance instructors, getting them experience and paid work. She’s a true inspiration and role model to young people.
Young Londoners Award:
The Young Londoners Award, in association with Sported, celebrates the outstanding work of individuals and organisations who are providing young people (under the age of 25) with the best opportunity to live a physically active life.
The London Youth Games ‘Virtual Inclusive Games’, which ran for eight weeks from February 2021 to April 2021 put young Londoners with special educational needs and/or disabilities at the heart of the competition.
Three challenges (set by young athletes with additional or special needs), were released each week. Regardless of their age, ability or impairment, young people across London had the opportunity to try out different sports, learn new skills, and keep active.
The event built confidence and a sense of community at a time when most of society was closed down.
Power Mobile Gym (PMG) offers free boxing, personal development and CV building sessions to over 150 young people aged 12-20 years old.
Unlike other organisations, PMG is a mobile organisation, able to tackle even the most vulnerable/isolated groups within society such as refugees, victims or knife crime and gang members. Travelling to different areas can cause conflict for young people due to gang activity.
The main activities that occur within the organisation are boxing fitness sessions, CV building workshops, trips, job opportunities, meetings with famous sporting stars, personal development workshops and team building – both in-person and online.
Young people’s activity dropped significantly after school closures and in the wake of grassroots sport being suspended.
With government guidelines strictly followed, CACT delivered football/sports activities on their 3G community pitch to 4,421 participants (aged 4-15). For clinically vulnerable young children, CACT offered free two-hour sole use slots on their covid-safe 3G community pitch, with sanitised sporting equipment provided.
To tackle a lack of physical and social activity, food poverty, and missed education time, CACT also delivered a free Summer Activity Programme to 570 disadvantaged children, providing physical activity, nutritious food, active learning, and creative arts.
Tech and Digital Award:
Street Tag is a mobile application that motivates less active or sedentary families to become more active by incentivising them to engage in physical activities.
The app leverages virtual reality, and virtual tags are placed in popular walking/cycling/running routes, libraries, historical landmarks, and green spaces to encourage participation and physical activities.
There are 25,000 active family accounts; 8.9 million tags collected; over 3,654,495 active miles walked, run, or cycled; and 2 billion steps since April 2020. About 60% of active users are children from 300 participating schools across London and around the UK.
Merton Mencap is an independent local charity supporting people with learning disabilities/autism, 91% of whom do not achieve recommended physical activity levels and have worse physical and mental health than the general population.
Merton Mencap run 25 clubs and activities to help. During the lockdown, they quickly pivoted to online activities – fitness and dance – to provide accessible fitness tuition to replace face-to-face classes.
They made their weekly live sessions as accessible as possible, making them easy to follow and sociable. They also created on-demand fitness activities, contributed to by people with learning disabilities.
Bexley Mencap launched a large programme of virtual and 1:1 support for people with a learning disability to improve health and wellbeing and reduce isolation.
They were able to provide almost 30 people with tablets, ensuring they could access virtual activities, and ran virtual individual and group training. They moved from running three activity groups a week pre-covid to running 15 groups a week at the height of lockdown, including keep fit, dance, yoga, virtual Happy Walks and tennis.
Yoga was also launched for carers to reduce stress and improve health and wellbeing after the demands of the last year.
Elite Sport in the Community Award
The Elite Sport in the Community Award, in association with the Mayor of London, recognises those that use their prominent position within a local community to improve lives whether that’s physical and mental wellbeing or wide social benefits.
Aiming to empower women and girls, London Pulse’s community work includes community camps, a multi-sport programme which develops young athletes, an “Educate, Train & Inspire” programme to provide over 400 young Pulse pathway athletes with skills outside of sport and the Metro Blind Sport Partnership – the first specific provision of netball for VI athletes in the world.
The club also ran Metropolitan Police Day, a netball experience day with youth engagement officers of the Met because there are far fewer sport diversion opportunities for young women from disadvantaged backgrounds. This was a great way to provide positive female role models.
Saracens Foundation address social needs within their community: increasing activity, breaking down barriers to participation, improving health, education and employment.
The ‘Together Active’ online video series consisted of over 127 videos created for disabled young people, older adults and young people.
‘Love To Dance’ provides dance sessions for over 50s while ‘Sarries In My School’ provides a bespoke schedule of sport and physical activity for children aged 5-16.
Meanwhile, ‘Go Forward’ is a proactive and impactful secondary school programme in Brent, designed to change the lives of those who are at risk of a multitude of factors at school and at home.
To address a lack of physical activity and social interaction, food poverty, time spent not being in education, and the subsequent growing attainment gap, CACT delivered a Free Summer Activity Programme targeting disadvantaged young people eligible for free school meals, including physical activity, nutritious food, active learning, and youth work/creative arts.
They were also able to deliver socially distanced football sessions on their 3G community pitch. In addition, the ‘Open Spaces’ project was launched, offering the families of clinically vulnerable young people free 2-hour sole use slots on our Covid safe 3G Community Pitch, with sanitised sporting equipment provided.
Volunteer of the Year:
Volunteers are the lifeblood of grassroots physical activity and sport. Volunteer of the Year, in association with London Youth Games, celebrates those who support grassroots physical activity and sport with dedication and a hands-on approach.
Warren’s upbringing was a difficult one, leading to drug usage and a period of incarceration at HMP Brixton – where he enrolled with FRBC’s Boats not Bars rowing project. Upon release, Warren joined FRBC through the project and quickly fell in love with the sport.
Warren is now an inspirational community leader. During the lockdowns he volunteered his personal training skills, running free weekly online circuit and HIT sessions to FRBC members, retaining membership and motivating isolated people.
Warren starts university in September and recently hosted two webinars on “Reflecting and Learning from Criminal Behaviour” and also presented in schools.
Nahimul helps the needs of the community: food, activity and education – all whilst working full time and studying for a masters degree.
Nahimul took it upon himself to deliver over 600 nutritious meals to vulnerable people. He and and his team of volunteers provided over 200 hours of virtual activities. Including a yoga course, with yoga equipment delivered to doorsteps.
500 young people from 20 ethnic groups took part in his free summer sports programme, where over 6,000 meals were distributed.
In spring he allocated 25 tablets, 20 laptops and 20 raspberry-pi devices to those who needed them the most.
On the 8th July 2020 AS BCU and the community of the Kingswood Estate, SE21, was devastated by the murder of an 18 year old black male, and an activity programme was implemented including sports, arts and craft for young people, to help the community recover with police support.
Adaeze Iheanacho, along with Josephine Amoah, played an instrumental role in the football training sessions and matches. Already in full-time employment they took personal responsibility for transporting the young people to and from these sessions ensuring that they were fed and watered – prepared and paid for at their own expense.
Business Contribution Award:
The Business Contribution Award, in association with the City of London Corporation, recognises the contribution of commercial organisations to community physical activity and sport through practical support, advice/ mentorship, collaboration and investment.
Tideway partners with London Youth Rowing (LYR) on projects such as Active Row, encouraging children in 70 schools across 12 priority boroughs – based on the London Poverty Profile – to be regularly active through indoor and on-water rowing.
During the pandemic, Tideway brought forward scheduled payments and de-restricted funds for LYR so they could be used to meet core costs, and supported LYR with professional skills.
Programme Manager Andrew Triggs-Hodge, a former Olympic rower, was seconded to act as event director on a fundraising event, helping to attract 180 teams and 1,500 participants. The event raised £120,000, including £70,000 for LYR.
Over lockdown when stores were closed Decathlon launched free fitness classes with trained coaches on social media, reaching thousands of people, and a podcast ‘The Power of Ten’ to discuss the role fitness plays in people’s physical and mental well-being – and providing top tips for a healthy body and mind, based on the experiences of famous athletes, hosted by a former Olympic skier.
Since the first lockdown, Decathlon has supported 5 London borough councils and invested over £50,000, helping to supply a range of fitness products and advice to get the local communities back together and back into physical activity.