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Help decide who wins our Best Use of Lockdown Award! Voting now open!

The Best Use of Lockdown Award – Sponsored by Jaffa – is in recognition of an individual or a group's outstanding contribution, commitment and time during lockdown. 

From Monday 23rd until Sunday 29th November 2020 you will be able to help us decide who will be the winner. The following candidates have been shortlisted as the top 3 in ‘Best Use of Lockdown’ category.

Ben Broadbent / Abingdon Canoe Polo Team

Abingdon Canoe Polo Team wanted to keep up their engagement with the sport and team spirit high during lockdown whilst also improving their coaching knowledge. The team wrote a coaching handbook which they have used to help plan the delivery of sessions to less experienced paddlers in the club since September. This involved a weekly meeting on zoom to discuss the content to include in each chapter and to look through sections that people had drafted in that period of time.

Ben Broadbent adds- 

We are a group of sixth form students from Abingdon who have enjoyed playing Canoe Polo for the past 4 years. Last year we completed our paddlesport instructor award and since September have been running twice weekly intro to canoe polo sessions for younger students in school. In lockdown we wanted to keep our team in contact and prepare for these sessions so decided to create a coaching handbook to help us develop our coaching and structure the sessions. We have really enjoyed this and are looking forward to (hopefully) completing our Canoe Polo Coach Award training at Christmas to develop further.

Caroline Carr

For engaging a wide audience of people into the beauty of paddling and stand up paddle boarding through reducing the stress, uncertainty and boredom of Covid-19.

Caroline Carr has provided an incredibly important learning opportunity for young people who are interested in developing their Paddle sport during these unprecedented days and has given a welcomed productive distraction that has enabled them to gain qualifications, skills and validation within the sport.

Through fully utilising the Sport England Community Emergency Fund Caroline has created a wide range of opportunities to promote and support paddle sports throughout Covid-19 lockdown.

This year’s work has seen a tribe of new Paddlesport Instructors and trainee’s coaches who have spent all summer in the water helping people be safe on their SUPs, to learn new skills and to enjoy paddling. We’ve worked with a huge number of the general public, all shapes and sizes and abilities including special needs and disabilities. Inspiring others to get out on the water and just have a go. Our attitude has been one that anyone can try and it doesn’t matter if you can’t stand up!

Mental health and wellbeing has been a huge thing this year and through the work Caroline has done to get so many people out on the water, learning new skills, being safe and meeting up with others, (at a distance) has been an incredible success in maintaining people's happiness.

Matt Giblin

Matt is one half of kayak essentials with Nick Cunliffe.  Matt is based in the North West but also does some of his coaching work on Anglesey with Nick.  Throughout lockdown Matt and Nick presented free sessions via Facebook Live twice every week teaching navigation skills, decision making and planning.  I am sure I speak for many of the people (sometimes over a hundred) who tuned in twice a week when I say that these sessions were brilliantly delivered and were a highlight in what was a very monotonous time for all kayakers.  

We were all wishing we could be out on the sea and these 1-2 hours sessions really made us feel as if we were out there.  Not only was Matt involved in these brilliant Facebook Live sessions but he also was hosting online Zoom discussions about coaching. He also started and continues to host the ‘The Essential Adventure Sports’ podcast where he interviews coaches giving anyone who tunes in for free an insight into the world of outdoor sports and outdoor sports education.  All in all, Matt has shown a determination to not let the Covid-19 lockdown detract from his enthusiasm for sports education and dedicated a large part of his free time to keep us all sane during this pandemic.

How to vote for choice! 

Please click here to complete the following voting form and cast your vote for the nominee of your choice, and feel free to share this far and wide within your circles. 

This voting form will be live until midnight on Sunday 29th November 2020, so be sure to get your votes in.

Once again, thank you to everyone who nominated, and congratulations to everyone who has been shortlisted.

Happy voting! BC Virtual Awards Team