Stockport entrants topped the podium twice at this year’s Greater Manchester Sports Awards, both awards reflecting the life-changing power of sport.

Anita Nickson was awarded the Changing Lifestyle Award and Rose Hill Primary School took home the School Commitment to Sport and PE Award. The two winners were put forward from the Stockport Sports Awards, which they both won earlier this year.

Anita (50) from the Hillgate area of Stockport, received her award after using activity to help manage a rare condition, Pyoderma Gangrenosum, which affects only one in 100,000 people.

After 29 hospital admissions in an eight-year period, Anita was put forward by her GP for the Physical Activity Referral in Stockport (PARiS) scheme, an exercise referral scheme delivered by Life Leisure which runs sports and leisure facilities in and around Stockport.

The scheme has helped her to manage her ‘down days’ and ditch her wheelchair – she can now do up to 200 reps on various gym equipment. She is currently working closely with her consultant to secure funding for research into her condition and is planning an appeal to parliament.

Rose Hill Primary was awarded the School Commitment to PE and Sport Award for its commitment to increasing activity for pupils during and after school. The school ensures that every class receives two hours of PE each week, and offer an extensive extracurricular programme of activities.

The school’s Sports Ambassadors lead active games during breaks. The school has also worked hard to integrate activity into traditional class lessons, such ‘Active Maths’. Every class completes the mile challenge three times per week.

The School Commitment to Sport and PE Award is a new category for this year, placing emphasis on the importance of increasing activity at a young age and building good habits from an early age.

Malcolm McPhail, CEO of Life Leisure, which also delivers sports and activity programmes in neighbourhoods across the area and works closely with the borough’s schools, said:

“It’s inspiring to see the amazing achievements of these Stockport residents and I’m incredibly proud that Life Leisure has been able to play a part in supporting Anita in her efforts to overcome her illness.

“What’s incredibly exciting and encouraging for Stockport is that both these categories reflect efforts and initiatives that capitalise on the transformative power of sport – from overcoming health challenges to inspiring future generations to be more active. Stockport residents should be really proud to be part of a community that is setting the standard for life-changing approaches to physical activity.”

Jude Riddings, School Sports Partnership Manager at Rose Hill Primary School said:

“We are delighted that Rose Hill have won this well-deserved accolade. This fantastic school embrace every opportunity available to them in order to provide all their children with many different experiences, encouraging development through physical activity, sport and healthy lifestyles, within and extra to the school day.” 

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