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Erewash’s sporting stars

Erewash’s inspirational sporting residents were celebrated last night at the Active Lives Awards ceremony.

The evening saw 10 winners awarded, a performance from the Under the Bridge men’s choir, and a celebration of the many athletic events that took place over the summer.

The Mayor of Erewash, Councillor John Sewell, Leader of Erewash Borough Council, Councillor Carol Hart and the Lead Member for Health and Wellbeing, Councillor Paul Maginnis attended the event to congratulate the nominees on their amazing achievements.

Erewash Valley Gymnastics Club took home the award for the Active Place category due to their dedication to offer gymnastics for everyone and over 70 years of supporting the local community.

Jean Saville was awarded the Active Lives trophy in acknowledgement of her inspirational journey. She began exercising a year ago after completing her pulmonary rehabilitation programme. Despite being nervous to start she stuck to her sessions. She made friends along the way and now attends the gym, aqua aerobics and yoga every week.

In the Legacy Leisure Adversary category, Susie Lamber was the inspiring winner. After her experience suffering a life-altering brain injury Susie set up a support group, crafting group, and Eco therapy group to help others who are living with long-term illnesses and pain.

The charity Blue Tonic won the Project/ Initiative/ Innovation award. The group offers people the opportunity have positive experiences in and around water – from hosting sessions that teach participants how to be safe around open water, to sessions that give men space to talk in a healthy environment.

The winner of the Active Coach/Activator of the year was Leanne Parry who regularly goes above and beyond for the community by volunteering to support victims of domestic abuse, supporting the Cotmanhay Wellness Hub and Community Network, and helping to establish the female empowerment group SheWill.

Ilkeston Health Ride took home the Community Group/Association/Team of the Year award due to their regular, inclusive, and ever growing group cycle rides.

The Cotmanhay Wellness Club won the Active Partnership award in recognition of their work to provide positive opportunities and support to residents.

The Active Young Persons Award went to inspirational Evie Hartley. Evie was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago and ever since has been raising money for the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group through bike rides, cake sales, hair donations, walking challenges and charity auctions. She has raised more than £58,000 in total.

Janet Micklewright won in the Active Volunteer category due to her dedication to the Sawley community. She runs the Sawley Wellbeing Café for residents who feel isolated and need a space to talk, the Singing for the Brain group which brings people affected by dementia together to sing and do vocal exercises, and a chair based exercise class to help elderly people become more mobile.

Finally, the Special Recognition award went to Abbie Breakwell. Abbie is a wheelchair tennis player for Great Britain, currently ranked 27th in the world for women’s doubles. She has never let her disability hold her back, becoming a This Girl Can ambassador while at secondary school and an Inclusion Ambassador of the Association of Colleges while at college. At university, Abbie was instrumental in establishing weekly wheelchair tennis sessions which are completely inclusive. This year she was made a Great Britain and Ireland Rotary Ambassador and a Commonwealth Games baton barer.

Councillor Paul Maginnis, Lead Member for Health and Wellbeing at Erewash Borough Council, says:

“The residents of Erewash never fail to amaze me. It has been an honour to hear all of the nominees’ inspirational stories and learn of their fantastic projects that help the community become more active and healthy. The Active Lives Awards has proven once again to be a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge the great work of this borough. Congratulations to our deserving winners!”

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