Active Burnley Awards 2022: Awards shine light on borough’s active community achievers

Community health and wellbeing champions, innovative sports clubs, two supportive schools, and a history-making cricketer were recognised for their outstanding achievements at the Active Burnley Awards.
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The annual celebration (formerly known as the Burnley Community Sports Awards), organised and run by Burnley Leisure and Culture, pays tribute to those who show dedication at a range of sporting, health, and wellbeing activities at all levels.

Eleven winners were announced at a glittering ceremony hosted by iconic underdog Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards at the Mechanics Theatre in Burnley.

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All the winners will now go forward to the Active Lancashire Awards, pitting their achievements against those chosen from similar recognition awards throughout the county.

Active Burnley Awards Primary School of the Year – Padiham Primary SchoolActive Burnley Awards Primary School of the Year – Padiham Primary School
Active Burnley Awards Primary School of the Year – Padiham Primary School

The awards, which have been re-launched after the pandemic, will be held at Ewood Park, Blackburn, on Friday, November 18.

Here are all the Burnley winners:

Lifetime Achievement Award – Chris Keene

The climax of the evening was the Lifetime Achievement Award handed to community sport and wellbeing activist Chris Keene, who has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of those living in the southwest of Burnley for more than 35 years. This award is for someone who has shown commitment for at least 20 years with their contribution to community sport and active lifestyles.

Active Burnley Awards Young Achiever of the Year – Liberty HeapActive Burnley Awards Young Achiever of the Year – Liberty Heap
Active Burnley Awards Young Achiever of the Year – Liberty Heap

The judges said: “His drive and passion have enabled the starting up of many projects as well as ensuring they are sustained. Chris has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for the southwest Burnley area. He is

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an outstanding community organiser, does not take no for answer and is still fighting for adequate health provision in the area.”

Club of the Year – Pendle Forest Orienteers

The club has members based around Burnley, Pendle, Rossendale, Accrington and Blackburn and has focused on reaching out to the wider community. It hosts ‘Come and Try’ events in several parks and connects with other organisations through the Holiday Activities and Food Programme – government funding for children eligible for free school meals.

Active Burnley Awards  Lifetime Achievement Award – Chris KeeneActive Burnley Awards  Lifetime Achievement Award – Chris Keene
Active Burnley Awards Lifetime Achievement Award – Chris Keene

Volunteer of the Year – John Buchanan

John has been described as Towneley Golf Club’s most prized asset since joining in 1998, later negotiating the transfer of the now thriving clubhouse operation to its new partner, BLC, three years ago.

Having been honorary treasurer and secretary, he now looks after the induction of new members and works with BLC staff to ensure the best possible experience for visitors.

Young Achiever of the Year – Liberty Heap

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History-maker Liberty, a student at Stonyhurst College near Clitheroe, has balanced her A-Level studies with her dream of becoming a full-time, professional cricketer for Northwest Thunder Lancashire.

She recently captained Stonyhurst’s cricket team, becoming its first female captain in its long and rich history. Liberty is now pinning her hopes on being chosen for the England squad for the under-19s Women’s World Cup in Bangladesh next winter and securing a full-time contract with the Thunder.

Coach/Instructor of the Year – Andy Ellis

Andy is a volunteer with Fulledge Colts FC with his primary involvement being the boys’ under-9s and under- 12s teams, and the girls’ under-14s. He is set to become the Colt’s development coach mentoring and assisting other coaches and aims to develop the club’s girls’ section into a ladies’ academy, building on its current success of coaching 90 girls across six teams.

Individual Contribution to Active Communities – Ted Pemberton

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87-year-old Ted is the man behind the success of numerous health walks across Burnley and Padiham. His enthusiasm and support have helped hundreds of people who have taken part over the years with their physical, mental and social wellbeing. He also attends Burnley Forum with the aim of providing further opportunities for people to move more and tackle social isolation.

Contribution to Active Communities – Karly’s Angels

Karly’s Angels running group was established in 2019 for people who wanted to continue running after completing the Burnley Couch to 5k programme.

It motivates runners of all ages and abilities to attend twice a week and encourages them to sign up for 5k and 10k runs across the region.

Health and Wellbeing Award – Justine Taylor

Justine combines her own love of physical activity with encouraging others to follow suit. For the past eight years she has led a twice-a-week running club where members have completed many 10k runs, three half marathons and two marathons. She is a volunteer at the Padiham junior park run and has helped to raise thousands of pounds for charity, including Derian House Children’s Hospice, Mission Impossible and the Trussell Trust. During the pandemic she helped to sustain the physical and mental health of her daughter Olivia, who has special needs, by asking BLC to create a simple exercise video to keep her active while her day centre was


Burnley Together Partnership Award – Library Walks

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This award is given to a project showcasing true collaboration to achieve its aims and objectives. Library Walks were instigated at Padiham Library when it began distributing maps and game materials for BLC’s Beat the Street initiative to encourage more people to explore their locality. The catalyst was library manager Alison James, who worked with BLC, Lancashire County Council and Newground Together to create three walks starting at the library.

Primary School of the Year – Padiham Primary School

This award is given to the primary school that has gone above and beyond to support its pupils’ physical and mental wellbeing.

The judges commented: “The school supports children to engage and develop lifelong enjoyment through pupil choices.

“Physical activity is used to support character and personal development through PE lessons, and this is reiterated during cross curricular activities, after school clubs, external events and break/lunch times.”

Secondary School of the Year – Coal Clough Academy

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Coal Clough Academy prides itself on giving pupils experiences they might not normally enjoy, such as a gardening club, caving, canoeing, kayaking, mountain biking, fishing, rock climbing and orienteering.

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