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Denise Larrad is a Sporting Hero

Posted: Wed, 20 Dec 2017 14:04

Denise Larrad is a Sporting Hero

The awards ceremony took place as part of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards in The Echo Arena in Liverpool yesterday. The star-studded event took place in front of a 15,000 capacity crowd and was shown live on BBC One on 17 December.

Denise was nominated for the prestigious award by the Borough Council's Health and Recreation Manager, Graeme Chilvers, in recognition of her many years of unstinting voluntary efforts running several walking and running groups, as well as supporting a group for people at risk of falling and co-ordinating and designing the council's monthly orienteering events. Through this work, Denise has inspired, supported and motivated thousands of people to be more active.

Denise has raised thousands of pounds for charities running half marathons and marathons and her efforts were previously honoured when she was selected to carry the Olympic torch in 2012. This inspired Denise to commit to get even people active, starting with the borough's children. Denise dedicated herself to visit all 45 schools in the borough in just two weeks. Thanks to Denise's commitment, thousands of children were inspired and had the chance to hold the torch.

The BBC East Midlands Today programme selected Denise as the East Midlands regional winner in November and her story was featured on the programme. Denise beat off competition from 15 other regions to be named the overall winner at last night's glittering ceremony.

Denise follows in a long line of the borough's amazing volunteers who have been nominated for the prestigious award and the third time a winner of the national award has hailed from the Hinckley and Bosworth borough. In 2012 Jim and Sue Houghton of Sport in Desford were the Regional and National Unsung Hero award winners followed in 2014 by disability swimming coach Jill Stidever from Markfield. The borough also produced East Midlands regional award winners and national finalists in 2013 with Leicestershire and Rutland Youth Sailing Club's Colin Magee, then again in 2015 with Desford Lawn Tennis Club's Harry Matty and again in 2016 with Hinckley Rugby Club's John Tilly.

Graeme Chilvers, the Borough Council's Health and Recreation Manager said: "This award is well deserved and I couldn't be more happy and proud for her. Denise follows in a long line of our amazing volunteers who have been nominated for the prestigious award. Nominating our volunteers is a great way to highlight the amazing work our sports volunteers undertake and to also thank the individuals nominated as without these volunteers there is no way we could deliver the wide range of programmes we do."

Bill Cullen, Chief Executive at the Borough Council said: "Many congratulations to Denise on this fantastic award. Denise inspires and supports people across all age ranges to get fit and health. Her impact is immense; she gets her participants fitter, healthier, improves their mental health and raises money for charity wherever she can. She encourages participants at the start of their fitness journey and carries on supporting them as a friend and mentor, even when they are running marathons. She inspires others to follow in her footsteps and is a genuine role model who changes lives in a very real sense. We are all so proud of her."

Cllr Maureen Cook, the Borough Council's Executive Member for Culture, Sport and Leisure said: "This is a very well deserved award that reflects the amazing volunteers we have in the Borough. Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council are delighted and proud to support Denise and the inspirational work she does."

(Source: Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council)

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