Active Event Award Finalists
Proudly sponsored by the University of Lincoln, Lincoln International Business School & People, Performance & Culture Department
The Active Event Award recognises an event, or series of events, that got people moving in Lincolnshire. It celebrates events which have inspired more people to take part in some form of physical activity, either on the day, or around the event.
AquaPaddle Lincoln - Hannah Stockdale & Mick Griffin
Hannah Stockdale and Mick Griffin run 5km social timed paddle events one Sunday a month in Lincolnshire through AquaPaddle. The concept is similar to Parkrun - each participant gets a recorded time for the event which they look to improve over time. The event has been running in Lincoln since February 2023 and over the first 7 events run they have had 192 entrants. The majority of paddlers are on stand up paddleboards, but kayakers and canoeists are also welcome.
Prior to these events being set up there was very few organised events for paddlers in the region, and almost nothing for paddleboarders. Whilst paddleboarding is a sport, a lot of people who take up paddleboarding see it more as a hobby or a pastime and many do not feel comfortable entering competitive races. The fact that AquaPaddle is not a race has meant the events have attracted a diverse group of people in terms of their experience, ability and age. The youngest competitor has been 14 and the oldest well in to their 60s. A great benefit for people attending these events is meeting other people with the same hobby, a number are self taught paddlers and usually paddled alone whereas now they are meeting up with people they have met at AquaPaddle events to arrange their own social paddles.
"The events are fun and we make a promise to each paddler that they will be smiling as they cross the finish line and to date we haven’t been wrong."
Lincolnshire County ASA
Lincolnshire County ASA, have been nominated for this award for their work in running the annual county swimming championships. Open water swimming officer Suzy Heggs, works with event partner Paul Fowler to run the open water event which took place this year in June 2023, and Tanya Talkes organises the county pool event which took place in February 2023.
The pool based county swimming championships has been running for 71 years. Swimmers qualify for the championships by achieving qualifying times. This mobilises thousands of swimmers who compete in swim meets across the country striving to achieve these times. This year, 297 swimmers qualified for 2,016 individual swims - a total of over 2 million metres swam over 2 weekends! The oldest competitor in 2023 was 53 and the youngest 9 years. They also have have para-athletes competing.
The Open Water championships was the 2nd annual championships. The purpose was to encourage swimmers to venture into a new discipline, to become confident in open water and to raise awareness of open water and how to keep safe and enjoy swimming outdoors. This year a record number of entrants took part in the event ranging in age from 11 - 71.
Both these county championship events act as a springboard to bigger competitions and a talent pathway. In the past, swimmers from the Lincolnshire County have gone on to swim in the Olympics and Paralympics. A great proportion of swimmers go on to qualify for regionals and national championships – and this pathway keeps swimmers in the sport, active fit and healthy.
Lincolnshire Wolds Outdoor Festival
The second Lincolnshire Wolds Outdoor Festival took place from 20th May-11th June 2023. The festival evolved from the Lincolnshire Wolds Walking Festival which ran for 15 years to encompass a wider range of outdoor activities as a driver for increasing footfall, improving health participation and supporting the further promotion and diversification of the visitor economy.
The vision of the event was to 'inspire and support participation in a diverse range of outdoor activities that showcases all the Lincolnshire Wolds has to offer'. The festivals programme of activities aim to increase awareness of the Lincolnshire Wolds as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), and improve mental and physical wellbeing of participants whilst encouraging access and inclusion for all. The event also supports local businesses and organisations through promotion, increasing business opportunities and commercial activity, and puts a focus on being environmentally sensitive and sustainable.
This year’s festival took place over 3 weeks, offering over 180 events at various locations across the Lincolnshire Wolds and surrounding area. There were 24 different types of activity, including: guided walks, dancing, fishing, netball, horse riding, gliding, map reading & navigation, activity days, family fun, nature engagement, den building and stream dipping. Approximately 3500 people took part in the 2023 festival. The event provided opportunities for people to try something new for free or at lower cost, encouraging participation in and enjoyment of the outdoor environment
The event also worked with 63 individual activity providers, representing 35 different organisations. These businesses and organisations benefited from awareness raising, attracting new customers (residents and visitors) and increasing footfall/membership. By raising awareness of the Lincolnshire Wolds and what is has to offer the event also indirectly supported many local tourism, hospitality and town centre businesses not directly involved in the festival who benefit from the increased visitor footfall. The project supports a number of local and national policy objectives around a place based approach to place shaping and regeneration, using events and leisure as a driver to support local businesses, increase social interaction and encourage healthier active lifestyles as well as supporting the green agenda by encouraging people to participate in low carbon activities within their local natural environment.