Inspirational clubs and volunteers from across the borough got the recognition that they deserved at last week’s Ealing Sports Awards.
The inaugural awards ceremony took place on 13 July and celebrated the hard work and achievements of sporting clubs, inspirational volunteers and fantastic sporting individuals working and competing in the borough. Awards were handed out in nine categories and you can read the full list of winners and highly commended nominations here.
The ceremony was hosted by Sky Sports presenter Marcus Buckland and also welcomed two Great Britain athletes – talented triple jumper Nathan Fox, and local sports personality and high-jumper Jo Jennings.
Ealing Council and Everyone Active launched the Ealing Sports Awards in February. Residents were invited to nominate clubs which create friendly, welcoming and inclusive environments, as well as sporting personalities and volunteers who have exceeded expectations in their field.
Linda Fox won Adult Volunteer of the Year for her impressive work growing Actonians LFC from a single women’s football team into one of the most recognised and respected women’s and girls’ football clubs in London. She said: “I feel so honoured. There are so many volunteers across the borough doing a fantastic job – so for me to even be considered for an award is just amazing.
“I love what I do and feel passionate about developing female football in the local area, and regardless of whether I win or not, this will not change.”
The most hotly contested category, Coach of the Year, was won by Kazem Panjavi of Stars for the Future Weightlifting Club. He works with lifters of all ages and abilities using his own passion and coaching expertise to get the best out of every athlete from novices to British champions.
Kazem said: “I have been working with Ealing Council since 1999 through all the London Youth Games and I feel I am part of this big family. Since I retired from weightlifting competition, I get satisfaction by seeing my lifters win their titles, become British Champion and become national team members.”
Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, Ealing Council’s cabinet member for transport, environment and leisure, said: “Congratulations to everyone who collected a prestigious Ealing Sports Award yesterday. It was an evening to recognise and celebrate inspiring stories of wonderful coaches, selfless volunteers, engaging clubs and exceptional sports stars of tomorrow.
“These awards have showcased the very best the borough has to offer and those shortlisted should all be very proud of what they’ve achieved.
“Thanks to everyone who nominated, we had such a strong field of candidates shortlisted across all categories, every single one of them showing how the nominees had inspired to become active through sport, compete and achieve greater things.
“Ealing is one of the very best places in the capital to get involved with sport. With phenomenal individuals, clubs and facilities that engage people of all ages and backgrounds that are helping people of the borough lead healthier, happier, longer lives.”
James Bowden from Everyone Active said: “We were excited to launch the Ealing Sports Awards and the event itself lived up to expectations, celebrating the amazing clubs and individuals we have here in Ealing.
“We’re delighted to have supported on this event with Ealing Council to celebrate those who also share this passion. We’d like to say a huge congratulations to all the nominees and the winners on their achievements.”