The Eastleigh Sport & Physical Activity Alliance (SPAA), supported by Eastleigh Borough Council’s SportsWorks team, held the tenth Eastleigh Sports Awards evening despite coronavirus lockdown.
The virtual ceremony took place on the Eastleigh SPAA Twitter account (@EastleighSPAA) from 7pm on Monday 18 May. Social distancing guidance had led to the cancellation of the annual awards ceremony, which would have taken place at The Hilton at The Ageas, Hedge End, for the safety of the invited guests.
The ceremony provided the opportunity to celebrate individual excellence, team achievement, as well as recognising those people who work tirelessly ‘behind the scenes’ to support local talent and provide opportunities for residents to lead an active lifestyle across the Borough.
Facilitating the awards ceremony online enabled an essence of normality and togetherness during this unprecedented time. Twelve categories showcased a successful 2019 for schools, officials, coaches, volunteers and projects as well as talented athletes.
Residents from the Borough and further afield were able to follow the ceremony and take part on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It was captured on @EastleighSPAA Twitter centrally, as well as engagement through #EastleighSportsAwards and @SportHealthEBC across all three channels. There were nearly one thousand positive engagements with tweets on the night.
Lou Gittens, Chair of Eastleigh’s Sport and Physical Activity Alliance (SPAA) introduced the online awards, followed by Councillor Keith House, Leader of Eastleigh Borough Council and Eastleigh MP, Paul Holmes. Ex-Saint Francis Benali, the Alliance’s Official Ambassador, was the guest speaker.
Lou Gittens said: “Whilst these awards are recognition of last year’s performance and efforts, I would like to say how pleasing it has been to see coaches, clubs, organisations, volunteers working so hard in recent months to keep providing opportunities for health and engagement within the community. The recognised benefits of such activities are well-known to us. We can hope that this may provide a positive legacy moving on from these experiences”.
Cabinet Lead for Health, Cllr Tonia Craig, said: “It was an important and innovative event to allow local sports and physical activity facilitators and participants to celebrate their efforts and achievements in a wider public forum. I’m always so impressed by the talent and passion on show and this year was no different. With more opportunities for residents to get active as lockdown eases we hope new active hobbies are explored and enjoyed, and the fantastic world of sport, with all its many benefits, returns as soon as it’s safe.”
Samantha Callaway (Athletics)
Megan Brickwood (Sailing)
Will Flynn (Cricket)
Sports Club of the Year
Eastleigh Amateur Boxing Club
Sports Team of the Year
Barton Peveril FA People's Cup Team (Futsal)
Coach of the Year - Participation
Jamie Palmer (Football)
Coach of the Year - Performance
Tim Dunkley (Snooker)
Volunteer of the Year
Alison Brownlow (Football)
Service to Sport
Richard Searle (Football)
Project of the Year
Outstanding Personal Achievement
Shadi Ganjavian-Connor (Mountaineering)
School of the Year
Botley CofE Primary School