London Sports Award winners include volunteer of year Butt

London Sports Award winners include volunteer of year Butt

The 2023 edition of the annual awards event celebrated volunteers, organisations, companies, charities and individuals who had gone above and beyond to improve the lives of Londoners through sport and physical activity.

The awards praised those who not only improved access to physical activity to support Londoners physical health, but also for their mental and social wellbeing too.

Among the winners was Ilford’s Ziana Butt BEM, who won the Volunteer of the Year Award for her endeavours to make netball more inclusive. Through her book, Aisha’s Netball, and supporting young people in schools, she encourages conversation about diversity and inclusion to create better representation in the sport.

“I was a finalist and stunned to have won the Volunteer of the Year Award at the London Sport Awards. I feel incredibly lucky,” said Butt.

“March has been a very busy month. I was a finalist and runner up at the Everywoman in Technology Awards in the Apprentice category, I was a finalist and runner-up in the Volunteer of the Year Category at the Sport and Recreation Awards where I had the delightful opportunity to meet and chat with HRH the Duke of Edinburgh.

“I’ve been to some amazing venues from Twickenham Rugby Club to the Guildhall for the events.

“I’ve also been invited to the Redbridge Community Awards at Ilford Town Hall to receive an Award in recognition of my British Empire Medal. My investiture is next month in April so as you can imagine I am very excited about that.

“To top it all off, I made the final England Mixed Squad so I am super excited about a number of forthcoming tournaments both UK and international.”

Other winners of the night included Single Homeless Project who won the Community Impact Award, in association with 4Global, for its work facilitating sports classes for homeless people, or those at risk of homelessness, to support wellbeing, improve social confidence and helping them on the road to recovery.

Harlequins won the Elite Sport in the Community Award, in association with the British Army. The professional rugby club provided valuable sports programmes to some of the most vulnerable in society including wheelchair rugby sessions, holiday sessions for those on free school meals and rugby sessions to improve mental health for young men.

Disability Sports Coach came out on top for the Uniting London Award, in association with Sport England. Their work providing both coaching sessions and community groups for disabled people has not only improved the physical and mental wellbeing for those they work with, but has supported a number of participants with becoming qualified sports coaches and finding paid employment.

The Enhancing the Workforce Award, in association with Chipotle, was won by QMSU Community Foundation improving employability prospects for students in London. Additionally, the Business Contribution Award, in association with the City of London Corporation was awarded to UBS for its partnership with SportInspired.

Swimming coach Michelle Weltman received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award, in association with BBC Radio London, for her dedication to the London Disability Swimming Club and the London Mini Wheelchair Marathon. Weltman has been involved in disability sport for over 30 years, having also coached many Paralympic swimmers, as well as transforming access to disability swimming in the Capital.

Emily Robinson, chief executive of London Sport, said: “The London Sport Awards are always an incredible recognition of the efforts and achievements for those helping Londoners lead healthier more active lives.

“I would like to congratulate all the nominees on their fantastic achievements in making sport and physical activity more accessible and inclusive to all. A special congratulations to our inspirational winners – our winners and finalists should be immensely proud of the work they have done and the contribution they’re making in improving lives.”

Lord Mayor of the City of London, Nicholas Lyons, added: “I am delighted to see the fantastic work being done by businesses to support Londoners’ physical and mental health through sport. Every company and person involved has shown incredible commitment, and these unsung heroes of the sector truly deserve their recognition and chance to shine.”

Full List of Winners – London Sport Awards 2023

The Supporting Young Londoners Award, in association with Play Innovation: Barclays Girls Football School Partnership – Featherstone School Sport Partnership (Ealing)

Featherstone School Sport Partnership is a Barclays Girls Football School Partnership, based in Southall, with the aim to increase equal access for girls to football in Ealing schools. They provide both curriculum and extra-curricular provisions, with several initiatives and programs, including the SEND Girls Football Festival. The Partnership has also worked to upskill school staff and develop a primary and secondary leadership program for ethnic minority girls.

The Digital and Tech Innovation Award, in association with Exergame: Swing Fitness (operating across all of London)

Swing Fitness is a Fit-Tech company founded in 2021 that aims to reduce barriers to physical activity and get Londoners moving. They have created the Swing Box, an outdoor gym-bench with integrated free-weights, and the Swing App, which unlocks its functionality on an affordable pay-as-you-go or subscription basis. Swing has already placed 17 boxes into 11 London parks and aims to place 50 boxes across 13 London boroughs by April 2023, with hopes to deploy 500 by 2024.

The Elite Sport in the Community Award, in association with The British Army: Harlequins FC (Richmond)

The Harlequins Foundation uses rugby to tackle inequality and remove the barriers many young people face to being active or accessing vital education and training. It works with more than 7,000 young people each year.

The Uniting London Award, in association with Sport England: Disability Sports Coach (operating across Brent, Hackney, Islington, Kensington & Chelsea, Lambeth, Southwark, Sutton, Tower Hamlets, Wandsworth, Westminster)

Disability Sports Coach aims to improve the lives of disabled people in London by providing inclusive physical activity opportunities through their Community Clubs. Since reopening after the pandemic, they have welcomed almost 300 disabled people and their families. Their impact goes beyond physical and mental health, with six participants becoming qualified sport coaches and finding paid employment.

The Community Impact Award, in association with 4Global: Single Homeless Project – Sport Project (operating across Camden, Islington, Westminster, Wandsworth, Hammersmith & Fulham, Lewisham, Greenwich, Redbridge, Lambeth, Waltham Forest, Newham)

The Sport Project at Single Homeless Project (SHP) in London creates physical activity opportunities for those experiencing or at risk of homelessness. 800 people have been involved in activities such as boxing, football, yoga, and cycling across 11 boroughs, with a focus on removing barriers and improving social confidence. The project has also introduced women-only sessions and aims to influence other organizations to embed physical activity as part of the core provision for homelessness.

The Enhancing the Workforce Award, in association with Chipotle: QMSU Community Foundation (Tower Hamlets)

The QMSU Community Foundation is a sport leadership and workforce development programme at Queen Mary University of London. The programme has engaged 45 community leaders and amassed over 90 training engagements between July 2021 and September 2022. The programme also includes a social cohesion sport programme and a young leaders academy.

The Business Contribution Award, in association with the City of London Corporation: UBS (City of London)

UBS and SportInspired have been partners since 2008, working together to tackle poverty-related issues for children and young people in Hackney. UBS provides financial and operational support for SportInspired’s programmes, which introduce over 200 children to 6 local sports in every festival. After the festivals, UBS and SportInspired establish free school Legacy clubs to encourage long-term participation.

Lifetime Achievement Award, in association with BBC Radio London: Michelle Weltman (operating across all of London)

Swimming coach Michelle Weltman receives the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award for her dedication to disability sport in London. She’s worked in disability sports for over 30 years, coached countless Paralympic swimmers, is Head of Disabilities at London Marathon Events and served as Head Coach at London Disability Swimming Club.

The Health and Wellbeing Award: Mytime Active (Bromley)

Mytime Active’s extensive Active Lifestyles programme helps people with health conditions increase physical activity levels and improve their wellbeing. The programme includes exercise referral schemes and free community walks. 65% of participants saw a significant improvement in their health and wellbeing scores, and 60% achieved or exceeded physical activity guidelines.

Volunteer of the Year: Ziana Butt BEM (City of London)

Ziana is an England Netball Young Volunteer and Youth Sport Trust Forum representative committed to making the sport more inclusive. A visible athletic role model, and a co-author of the book Aisha’s Netball, she is breaking the stereotypes, encouraging conversation about diversity, inclusion and sport, and making all Asian youngsters more accepted.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *