25th November 2022
Jackie Wood clutches her award after winning Outstanding Contribution to Sport & Physical Activity Award, presented by Active Sussex trustee chairman Brian Clark. Picture by snapitnow.co.uk
"Jackie has been a key mover and shaker for disability sport and inclusion"
A sports coach at Freedom Leisure in Brighton & Hove has won this year’s Outstanding Contribution to Sport and Physical Activity award.
Jackie Wood was recognised for her dedication and hardwork at the Sussex Sports Awards on Thursday, November 24.
Jackie’s career in the physical activity sector spans more than 20 years and has seen her work for Brighton Council, Brighton & Hove City Council, Active Sussex, EMD UK and now for Freedom Leisure.
Her skills span many coaching qualifications, including walking netball and rugby, and many health qualifications, including Otago.
On receiving the award, Jackie said:
“I feel a little overwhelmed.
“The opportunities I have been given by the different organisations I have worked with have been great.
“Being able to help people who would not normally be physically active and seeing the difference you can make… I am very lucky.
“We are a leisure trust, but one of our priorities is working with what we call target groups because we want to help people cross that threshold.
“It is absolutely fine to do a walking netball session or walking football or I coach something called Boccia, which is a brilliant paralympic sport and it is so inclusive.”
Carrie Reynold nominated Jackie for the award and said:
“Any person that comes into contact with her, has responded positively to her warmth, enthusiasm and ability to make change.
“Jackie has been a key mover and shaker for disability sport and inclusion.
“From the inception of the Sussex Disability Sports Network, Jackie has been a font of knowledge and she has been instrumental in the success of many inclusion programmes.”
Jackie provided event management support at the Sussex Parallel Youth Games, led on the dance element of the Games, and more recently started and sustained a disability sports movement in Brighton & Hove.
“Where Jackie goes, the opportunity follows and she has undoubtedly created physical activity opportunities for thousands of individuals,” added Carrie.
Most recently she has been heavily involved in the Active Sussex CYP Forum, supporting targeted, place-based work within Moulsecoomb and Whitehawk, ensuring Freedom Leisure is represented at the forum.
Her long list of accomplishments this year includes establishing a monthly fun day for families with those who have disabilities, an inclusive public swimming session, walking netball, VIABLE sessions for people with visual impairments, boccia sessions, deaf specific swimming lessons, This Girl Can exercise sessions and badminton sessions with Sport in Mind.
Jackie has had over 7,000 attendances this year alone as part of her Healthy Communities role in the city and has ensured a sustainable approach to all of these projects by working with volunteers.