ActiveWestminster Awards

All female choir, dressed in black singing on stage

The ActiveWestminster awards is an annual event recognising the communities and individuals who make the City of Westminster a great place to get and stay active.

Now in its 12th year the Awards are a mainstay of the ActiveWestminster calendar, bringing our community together to recognise and celebrate the people and organisations who help us create an active city for all. 

ActiveWestminster Awards Winners – 2021

Inclusive Award

Pimlico Puffins

Pimlico Puffins provide safe and inclusive space for disabled people to learn swimming and/or improve on their current swimming skills.

Swimmers feel safe coming to sessions due to the volunteer numbers and every new volunteer that joins the sessions receives hands-on training from the more experienced volunteers while in the water with the swimmers. This direct guidance allows new volunteers to learn exactly what the needs, considerations, and adaptations are for the various swimmers.

After swimming sessions, the group always has juice and biscuits. This is where the community feeling comes into play as volunteers are motivated to help people with disabilities and this is the main reason for the success of the club.

An example of this is how they support visually impaired swimmers who are met at Victoria station before sessions as well as being escorted back to the correct platform afterwards.

Change4life Westminster Award

Parkour Generations

Parkour Generations have been working with Westminster every week since 2007, providing a totally unique, challenging and naturally fun way for young people of all ages to explore their movement potential in a safe, expertly coached environment. Junior and Youth Classes at the Academy Sport and Queen Mother Sports Centres help children progress into movement practice, developing physical literacy as well as core skills such as teamwork, courage, resilience and self-efficacy, engaging young people in regular healthy movement and fitness, and Westminster's vision to utilise parkour in such a way has been unrivalled anywhere in the UK.

Parkour Generations also provide for numerous Home-school organisations, Pupil Referral Units to give regular physical activity provision to many children who don't have easy access to sports or PE.

Classes returned immediately after lockdown ended and the organisation were delighted to see numbers bounce back joined by an entirely new crop of young people getting involved after months of enforced inactivity.

OneYou Westminster Award

Rathbone Boxing Club

#FightTogether against Heart Disease is a programme run in conjunction with Heart Research UK to encourage less active adults to look after their heart health. Rathbone ABC specifically targeted males from a B.A.M.E background (but everyone was welcome), as they are most at risk from heart disease, utilising a three-pronged approach, fitness, stress relief and healthy eating.

Participants are equipped with the knowledge to make lasting changes to their lifestyle. Introducing boxing fitness and mindfulness to participants.

By creating a community in collaboration with Heart Research UK. Inactive participants, who would normally have never considered boxing, were able to make lasting lifestyle changes that addressed their cardiovascular fitness, management of stress, and eating habits.

Rewarding & Celebrating Diversity Award

Bloomsbury Football Foundation

Bloomsbury Football Foundation has encouraged more diverse communities and demographics to take part in sport through open sessions, holiday courses, and their financial scheme. Bloomsbury Football foundation delivered over 2,000 hours of football before, during, and after the lockdowns.

In total, 871 girls and boys, aged 3-15, regularly benefit from participating in high-quality football provisions in person and online through Bloomsbury Football programmes. Bloomsbury Football is a unique organisation doing a fantastic job bringing different people together with football. Bloomsbury Football foundation has impacted each child, giving them an opportunity to feel included and valued, so they can feel that they belong.

Active Place or Space Award

Paddington Recreation Ground AND Porchester Centre Spa & Hall

Hidden away in the heart of Maida Vale is a 28-acre oasis, Paddington Recreation Ground. It has an enormous range of facilities to enjoy, including A fantastic and popular newly built playground is surrounded by football pitches, a Hockey Pitch, athletics track, sprint track, calisthenics and parkour area (all recently refurbished or added). Additionally, there are several gardens to relax in as well as two environmental areas where local children can attend the ever popular ‘Forest School’ sessions put on by Sayers Croft.

The gym and group fitness studio plays host to a range of different sessions and a range of outdoor tennis courtson offer. Cricket fans can enjoy the pitch at the centre of the park and the four cricket nets in which to practice, while the site also boasts an outdoor bowling green and a multi-use Tarmac court. In 2020 & 2021, the site has seen hugely increased usage as people realised the importance of their local green spaces, especially as it has consistently remained open, even whilst every other leisure facility was closed during lockdown.  

The Porchester Leisure Centre, Spa & Hall is a fantastic and unique Grade 2* listed building in the heart of Bayswater. It recently undertook a redevelopment of both the Spa & a £1m renovation of the Main Pool in the first time in it’s 90+ year history. The centre works incredibly closely with a wide variety of local and national partner organisations, community groups and residents to ensure as many people are able to be more active more often. The Porchester Centre is no stranger to these awards, having won in this award category several times in the past.

P.E. & School Sport Award

St. Marylebone Church of England Bridge School

St Marylebone CE Bridge School provides a broad range of diverse activities to promote active lifestyles that are differentiated to tailor students’ needs.

An active lifestyle is encouraged across the school and specific areas such as health and fitness topics within the school curriculum and also P.E (Games, Gymnastics, dance, swimming, OAA), PSHE, Mindfulness, Hospitality, and Princess Trust. All lessons are inclusive so that students have the opportunity to participate regardless of their physical abilities. The school works closely with external organisations very collaboratively, with subject areas to further enhance students' learning. This has also led to students engaging with the local community more.

The school has assigned several Sports Prefects as well as ex-students from the local community who volunteer with roles to promote an active lifestyle within the school. Some of these roles consist of working closely with clubs and organisations. Students help to promote active discussions throughout the school during break and lunch, facilitating sports games, helping out during charity events i.e., Sports Relief, Red Nose Day and Jeans for Genes Day. They also notify pupils about upcoming sporting opportunities within the school and in the community.

The school continuously works with a range of sports clubs, mentors, guest speakers, coaches and the local community to promote active lifestyles. These links continue to create pathways for students into local community clubs.

Young Sports Personality of The Year Award

Andrea Eliasson AND Edward Whittles

Andrea is 12 and is an artistic swimmer with a real love of the sport that has seen her dreaming of competing at the Olympics since she started the activity 5 years ago. 

At last year’s Swim England National Age Group Championships, she won four medals and in 2021 competed twice at the junior Olympics in Japan. 

Andrea trains daily at various locations across London as well as travelling a significant distance every week to the Queen Mother Leisure Centre with her club, to perfect her technical skills and prepare for the filming of virtual competitions.  

At the time of writing, Andrea is awaiting her results at the 12 & Under event of the Artistic Swimming National Age Group 2021 and will attend phase 3 of the Youth GB Trials. 

Edward is on British Swimming’s talent pathway and is ranked 1st Nationally in Britain for his age group (15 years and under) for both the 400m Individual Medley and the 200m IM. 

Access to swimming Pools was severely restricted earlier this year with no pool time possible between last December through to mid-April and Edward had to adjust his training which included taking part in online zoom sessions organised by his club. Despite the lack of swimming due to Covid lockdowns, this year has seen Edward improve his personal best times for both his main events. 

Edward is extremely dedicated and somehow manages to fit in 18 hours a week training outside of school hours and attend regular swimming galas that can last whole weekends. 

Sports Personality of The Year Award

Charlotte Thomas-Rowe

Basketball player Charlotte started in the sport as a child and developed her skills playing across Europe, often living alone in countries where she didn’t speak the language, with the goal that one day she would represent Jamaica.

Covid has made the last year incredibly hard for all of us and for Charlotte the challenges were made even more difficult when she got diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis.

This is a potential sports career-changing challenge which Charlotte is meeting head on, showing her love of the sport by committing herself to court time gym sessions and yoga.

Despite her serious health issues which are currently stopping Charlotte from playing professionally, she is still able to support the local community by coaching local ladies team The Badabings as well as volunteering with refugees and the homeless.

Everyone who has worked with Charlotte has been inspired by her and send their best wishes to get back playing well again soon.

The Lord Mayor of Westminster – Unsung Hero Award (In Memory of Mariam Sabir)

Liz Ayres

Through the various activities that Liz organises and volunteers for, she has enabled and fostered a positive attitude to being active not just for the physical benefits but for mental health too.

She is a huge advocate for those beginning to get active and leads by example and never asks anyone to do something she isn't willing to do or try herself.

Liz volunteers as both a juniors and seniors coach for Serpentine RC and regularly leads run groups made up of mums, dads and their family members/friends who are all beginners, and in addition, leads free run groups in Hyde Park and around Westminster for members of her 35,000-member online Facebook running community.

Despite still recovering from long covid and gaining long term health problems as well as being a single parent to an autistic child, Liz strives to prove that the only obstacles in a person's way to becoming fit and healthy, is themselves.

The Lifetime Achivement Award

Phil Rumbelow

Our last award is designed to commend and recognise any individual who, through their outstanding achievement over their lifetime, has gone above and beyond expectation and made a lasting impact in sport or physical activity in Westminster.   

The winner of this year’s lifetime Achievement award is Mr Phil Rumbelow. 

Phil started at Jubilee Hall Clubs LTD as a Club Manager in 1997, was promoted to Group Operations Manager in September 2000, and was made CEO in March 2002. In 2009, Along with the board of trustees and his exec team he rebranded the charity to Jubilee Hall Trust Ltd ensuring the mission, vision and values were better communicated to customers and stakeholders alike. 

Phil built a great team and under his leadership, they together have expanded and deepened the charity’s work, improving facilities and creating partnerships with local councils and other stakeholders to deliver innovative physical activity programmes to those who can least afford it. 

In 2019/20 Jubilee Hall Trust delivered over 316,000 activity sessions– with 28% of them free or concessions –generating £2.1m in social value, an increase of 31% over the previous year. Jubilee Hall Trust was delighted to be recognised as a Top 25 Great Place to Work in the UK in 2019 and 2020. 

Phil also believes in living an active lifestyle being a regular runner with various half marathons including the royal parks and the Great North Run (on many occasion), Richmond Duathlons and various park runs. He also completed a duathlon around Snowdon, Ran, biked and Kayaked from the East Coast to West Coast of Scotland and cycled London to Paris. His ability to network and forge relationships enabled much of the work Active Westminster prioritised and if Jubilee Hall Trust was not able to deliver something, well he knew someone who could. A natural leader, loved by all and very passionate about promoting health and wellbeing in the communities in which he served. His service is a reminder to all that anything is possible and through strategic partnerships we are stronger than the sum of our parts. 

 Phil is a perfect gentleman who’s always been affable and charming to work with and has a worthy reputation for getting things done, so it’s very befitting that he receives this Lifetime Achievement Award for all that he has done across so many years. 

Watch Last Year’s Awards Ceremony

Last year, the ActiveWestminster Awards was held virtual and hosted by Sky Sports News presenter – David Garrido, one of the most highly respected sports broadcasters with over 20 years of experience. 

You can watch the full ceremony, which was live streamed via our YouTube channel, right here.