Following her success at October’s Sporting Equals Awards, where Khadija Patel collected the Sport England Community Sports Project of the Year Award for her group Krimmz Girls Youth Club, Sporting Equals is delighted to announce that she has also collected the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Unsung Hero (North West) Award! This follows further success at the Sport and Recreation Alliance Awards 2023, where she collected the Volunteer of the Year award.
This award means that Khadija will now head to the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards on Tuesday 19 December. There she will be one of the finalists for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Unsung Hero Award. She will be joined by other worthy finalists who have won their own local award.
Khadija was nominated by Sporting Equals Partnership Manager Gemma Parry. Gemma did not hesitate to nominate Khadija having witnessed firsthand the innovation and success of Krimmz Girls. “The work Khadija has done in the Bolton and Greater Manchester area through her volunteer work is truly transformational. She breaks down barriers to access and inclusion every single day – her enthusiasm, passion and determination to offer physical activity for all is nothing short of relentless. Not only does she aim to have people engaged in activity, but also to build a lasting legacy of infrastructure in both the clubs local area of Bolton and the wider Greater Manchester area. She does this through ensuring that young people coming up through her programme give back to the next round of participants through volunteering and becoming coaches, leaders and themselves, future policy makers. Khadija is the most inspiring woman – I cannot wait to see what 2024 bring for her and her community.”
Founded in Bolton, 2009, Krimmz Girls supports ethnically diverse girls, boys, women, men and elders in engaging in physical activity. With limited resources initially she built a network in the local community to help deliver the sport. The volunteer led community group created a vision of sport that transcended boundaries and inspired participants to see sport and physical activity as part of their everyday life. Without Khadija that may never have been possible.
She understands, anticipates and accommodates each individual need to ensure that any and all religious convictions are supported. Through her determination to cater to all needs and interests the group now deliver swimming, netball, football, ski, yoga, cricket, archery, squash and cycling amongst others.
Khadija has built strong relationships with national governing bodies such as Snowsports England and the Football Association as well as more local groups such as the Lancashire Cricket Foundation. Over 360 women and girls take part in physical activity every week due to Khadija.
Sporting Equals is proud to support Khadija and the work she has done. She is a true trail blazer and someone who inspires everyone who hears her story. She is a unique woman who has proven that sport and physical activity are a vehicle for change and community cohesion. She has shown it is there for all and that no obstacle is too high to be overcome.
Khadija Patel, “I’m very grateful and humbled to have received this award. They say teamwork makes the dream work and I’d like to extend thanks and appreciation to everyone involved with KRIMMZ from the volunteers, participants, parents, partners, sponsors and the wider Bolton community without whom we couldn’t do what we do. I want to continue to try and support even more people and inspire the next generation to take part in sports that they want to do without facing any limitations or barriers.”
Sporting Equals CEO, Arun Kang OBE, said “Khadija is a shining star of British sport and physical activity. The work she does at a community level is an example all should aspire to follow. She has worked with Sporting Equals for a number of years now and we are delighted to have supported her and Krimmz Girls. Seeing her receive this recognition will only further her cause and inspire others to follow in her footsteps. Congratulations Khadija!”