ACTIVE Essex is searching for the best of Maldon's sportsmen and women as part of its annual awards.

Nominations have been opened for this year's Active Essex Sports Awards, the annual event recognises the individuals, community partners and organisations that inspire so many others in Maldon District to take part in daily sport and physical activity.

New to this year’s ceremony, the ‘Inclusive Communities Award’ will recognise an individual or organisation that has had significant impact on those with disabilities, and help them to participate more in physical activity.

Azeem Akhtar, Chair of Active Essex, said: “This year’s awards are so important in recognising the role of grass roots and community sports which are helping us to tackle inactivity across the county along with other big issues such as obesity and mental health.

“There are nearly 11,900 people in Maldon who do not take part in the recommended 30 minutes of physical activity a day, but there are hundreds, maybe thousands of people in the area who are helping to inspire more people to get up off the sofa.

"Who are they? We want you to tell us so we can celebrate what they have achieved and share the stories of those they have helped."

Just like last year, Essex' most celebrated Olympian, Max Whitlock MBE will be in attendance for this year's event.

Max himself is a previous winner at the Active Essex Sports Awards and a recipient, two years running of the Young Sports Personality of the Year award.

He said: "As a previous winner at the sports awards, it is a fantastic feeling to be recognised for your personal achievements and it gives you encouragement to go further and inspire others.

"Often when you are starting out you may not be well known outside your field and the awards give a great platform to share your story with others.

"It only takes five minutes to nominate but your nomination could make a big difference to that individual or organisation.”

The ten categories up for nominations also include Sports Personality of the Year, Changing Lives through sport and physical activity, Community club of the Year and Unsung Hero.

The awards night will be held on December 4 at Chelmsford City Racecourse.

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