Linking with Sport England’s ‘This Girl Can’ campaign this year’s Cornwall Sports Awards focused on ‘Celebrating Women in Sport’. The prestigious event held at The Headland Hotel, Newquay is a celebration of all the amazing volunteers who go out of their way to inspire others to get active!
Guests heard from Coxless Crew Member Laura Penhaul from Redruth Cornwall, an inspirational women who along with 5 other girls rowed across the Pacific Ocean = 8446 miles, breaking 2 world records! All to raise money for the charity Breast Cancer Care.
Laura presented the BRAND NEW ‘This Girl Can – Inspirational Woman of the Year’ award. This is presented to someone who has been inspired by the campaign and has gone on to motivate others to get active.
As the award was introduced, the stage was suddenly ‘taken over’ by Heart FM’s Victoria Leigh stating “it was only right that a woman presented a female award.”
Victoria is a huge supporter of the This Girl Can Campaign and said: "The Cornwall Sports Awards is such a wonderful, inspiring event. The winners are so well deserved and from such diverse backgrounds and age groups. This year felt particularly empowering with lots of wonderful women honoured.”
Our winner Louise Mallas from Portreath used to describe herself as a hardened couch potato, she initially took part in the Get Active Cornwall Challenge, using a pedometer to track her steps in her lunch break, after 6 weeks she had lost a stone. This motivated Louise to continue to introduce more activities and eat healthier, over the next year she lost a further 3 stone. She now describes herself as a lot fitter in her fifties than her thirties!
Louise came to the attention of the Cornwall Sports Partnership as a lady who could motivate other females to be more active. She has been a fantastic Cornwall This Girl Can Ambassador encouraging ladies at work to be more active and more recently has started using social media and blogging about her journey and challenges to remain active.
On winning her award Louise said: “A big thank you to the Cornwall Sports Partnership for my This Girl Can – Inspirational Woman of the Year Award. It’s a real shock, I had no idea at all and I am really chuffed. I hope I continue to inspire to show that women of my age can still get active, in fact women of ANY age can!
Natasha Howard, Lead for This Girl Can in Cornwall and organiser of the Cornwall Sports Awards said: “The This Girl Can campaign aims to reach out to females by showing it’s ok to get active whatever your shape or background. We are using it to inspire ladies to become active and stop worrying about what they look like doing it. Louise stood out to us as a great role model and someone who can show others that anyone can lead an active lifestyle with a little motivation and determination.”
Get Active Cornwall has been developed with funding from the Department of Health, and is being coordinated by the Cornwall Sports Partnership; in collaboration with the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Health Promotion team and Cornwall Council, amongst a number of other national bodies and Cornish organisations.
Guests at the awards also heard from Mellissa Reid, Paratriathlete from Porthtowan in Cornwall. Melissa Talked about her recent experience at the Paralympic Games in Rio this September where she won a Bronze Medal.
Cornwall Sports Partnership raised a total of £600 for Breast Cancer Care.
Want to know more about This Girl Can in Cornwall visit www.cornwallsportspartnership.co.uk/ThisGirlCan