To mark the 25th anniversary of children’s charity the Youth Sport Trust (YST), the event is being supported by Sky Sports following the charity’s longstanding partnership with the broadcaster, and in recognition of all those who have contributed to enabling UK families to stay active throughout the pandemic.
A total of six YST Young Activist Awards and six Girls Active Awards have been presented as part of a virtual celebration.
Ali Oliver MBE, Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust, said:
As the Youth Sport Trust celebrates its 25th year of changing young lives through sport, I couldn’t think of a better way to mark the occasion than delivering the Young Activist awards, thanks to Sky Sports, and the Girls Active Awards in partnership with Women in Sport and Sport England.
"All of the award winners are truly deserving and have shown huge passion and commitment for activating change not just for themselves, but for others around them. Many of them have helped support their communities through the challenges of the pandemic. There is compelling evidence that young people who volunteer and take part in social action develop critical skills for employment and adulthood.
"Through Youth Sport Trust programmes, young people develop their confidence and leadership skills along with an appetite for making a difference in the world. The young people we are honouring have been empowered to use sport to address the issues that matter to their generation. I am incredibly proud of them all."
Hosted by Olympian and sports broadcaster Jeanette Kwakye with presentations made by sports stars including Team GB swimmer Freya Anderson, Team GB Tennis player Emily Appleton and Olympian and broadcaster Becky Adlington OBE, individuals were awarded for their efforts in tackling the issues of a generation, exacerbated by Coronavirus.
Jack Eatherley, Lead on Participation at Sky Sports, said:
At Sky Sports we share the Youth Sport Trust’s passionate belief in the power of sport to change lives and unite us, even through the most difficult times. It is with great pleasure that we have been able to support the YST Young Activist Awards to recognise so many young people around the UK who are making a difference through sport. The Youth Sport Trust is a key charity partner for Sky Cares – Sky’s volunteering programme.
The full list of the 2020 award winners and their stories are below:
YST Young Activist Award winners
Young Fundraiser Award - presented by swimming star Freya Anderson: Paige McGuinness from Flixton Girls School in Manchester. Paige took part in the 2.6 challenge for YST in April alongside her school. She is a gymnast, trampolinist and dancer, and loves sport. Raising £200 for the YST, she showed personal commitment and passion to a cause she felt strongly about during Covid-19. Paige’s school went on to raise more than £400 for YST in the combined 2.6 Challenges with funds going towards supporting young people who are not as fortunate as themselves.
National School Sport Week at Home Family Award - presented by Team GB climber, Molly Thompson-Smith: The Hindmarch family (in association with Clavering Primary School) in Hartlepool. The family of six; single Mum Danielle, Darcie (11), Theo (9), Koban (8), Ronnie (6) and Ariya (2), all live together. Despite challenging personal circumstances further exaggerated by Covid-19 lockdown, the family found the strength to join YST’s National School Sport Week at Home campaign in June. They have been a driving force in demonstrating how powerful sport and physical activity can be and why it’s so important for wellbeing.
Schools Recognition Award - Active Across Ages: All schools who took part in the pilot programme (accepted by Clare Mount Specialist Sports College in Wirral on behalf of all schools). The award recognises the declining activity levels of both young and older people, and the opportunities for volunteering and leadership. Active Across Ages is the YST’s first intergenerational physical activity programme aimed at connecting children and older adults to play and be active together. Funded by the Sir John Beckwith Charitable Trust and Youth Sport Trust International, it was piloted in 10 schools and older people’s settings across England throughout 2019. There were significant increases in happiness and wellbeing among participants.
Community Action Award - presented by Paralympic swimmer Ellen Keane: Aidan Elmore (in association with the Breaking Boundaries programme) in Barking and Dagenham. Aidan (22), who has anxiety (OCD), joined Breaking Boundaries as a Community Champion in 2018. After completing hundreds of volunteer hours supporting the delivery of activities, he qualified as a cricket coach and was promoted to Community Champion Mentor. When Covid arrived in March, Aidan developed and delivered weekly online cricket challenges for the Breaking Boundaries community, encouraging residents to exercise at home and keep connected. He volunteered for his local council delivering letters to residents, worked at a foodbank hub to sort deliveries and packed food parcels for those in need. Aidan also supported an online ‘Great Get Together’ to share his experiences of bringing communities together during the pandemic.
International Development Award - presented by tennis star Emily Appleton: Al-Sama Cricket Girls from Girls Centre Shatila – Al-Sama Project in Beirut. The group is formed of 18 girls aged 12 and up.
School Games Activator Award - presented by athletics World medallist Imani-Lara Lansiquot: Jude Aston from Highfields School in Wolverhampton. 15-year-old Jude who has cerebral palsy, recently became a wheelchair user after a failed operation in January. Jude dreams of becoming a sports journalist and despite further medical setbacks, he set about following his dream tracking down and interviewing local footballers. As a result of his passion, Jude was asked by his head of PE to produce, edit and present his school’s virtual Annual City Sports Awards. Jude took on the challenge and produced a high-quality package which brought much-needed joy to the school during the pandemic, showing resilience, determination and a positive attitude.
Girls Active Award winners:
Leader Award: Emi Dylewska from Ivanhoe College in Leicestershire
Influencer Award: Ella Gutteridge from Fulbrook Middle School in Bedfordshire
Personal Growth Award: Amy Truelove from The Redhill Academy in Nottingham
Best Group/GLAMS Award: Outward Valley Active Girls Group from Outward Academy Valley in Worksop
Future Leader Award: Imogen Burton from Clavering Primary School in Hartlepool
Best Girls Active School Award: Highfields School in Matlock, Derbyshire
The awards took place online on 3 November and saw shortlisted young people and their class bubble/year group, and young people with their parents/guardians at home join virtually for the celebrations. The charity would like to thank Sky Sports, PGL and Limitless for the donation of prizes. For more information on the Girls Active Award winners please visit www.youthsporttrust.org/GA-awards2020-winners