It was a night to remember for Denise Larrad. The 55-year old Age UK volunteer won the BBC Get Inspired Unsung Hero Award at Sunday’s (17 December) Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY).
Described as a 'dynamo that never stops', she has helped thousands of people in her home town of Hinckley to get active through walking, running, fitness classes and orienteering. The trained Walk Leader and mother of two organises classes and activities for children, families and the elderly despite working night shifts in a warehouse and her boundless energy and enthusiasm has improved quality of life for many.
Denise took up running 10 years ago and in 2012, was selected to carry the Olympic torch as recognition for her fundraising work, running half marathons and marathons for charity. She has been a volunteer for the last five years at Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council and her beginners running group, orienteering sessions and walks have become very popular with the local community. This altruistic lady with a big heart is on a mission and has made a noticeable and positive impact on health and fitness levels in her Leicestershire town.
She was the East Midlands Regional winner in November before being nominated by the Borough Council as a finalist for the BBC Unsung Hero Award. Denise Larrad beat 15 other regional finalists at SPOTY and was given a standing ovation by the audience as she received her award from Olympic track cyclist Laura Kenny.
Hinckley’s heroine has inspired people of all ages and abilities to move more and enjoy the benefits of doing so. Keep up the good work Denise!
Photo courtesy of Action4Health – Burbage.