Skip to main content

London Sport Awards

Open Age Charity Wins Major Sport Award for Innovative Physical Activities During Covid-19

Open Age is utterly delighted to be the winners of the 2021 London Sport Awards Health and Wellbeing Category, in association with Gympass. Held at the spectacular Guildhall building, Open Age and 30 other nominated London charities were treated to a night of joy and celebration. Our Physical Activities Manager, Jade Dalton, gives the run-down on how and why we won, and what this win means for the Open Age community – members, staff, volunteers and trustees alike.

So, Jade, apart from being a wonderful charity - why did Open Age win?

At the beginning of the pandemic we faced a tough reality – ceasing our weekly programme of 350+ activities and closing our 3 Centres was the only way to keep our older members safe. After making over 10,000 check-in calls ensuring our members’ immediate health & safety needs were met, the staff Team began to think of alternative ways to support the health and wellbeing of our community. And that’s how, in just 2 months, we created activities which could be accessed from the safety of our members homes:

40+ weekly Physical Activity sessions on Zoom (over 120 weekly hours in total)

42 videos on YouTube for members to follow in their own time

4 weekly phone-based telephone sessions for older people without internet

Covid-safe outdoor classes in Summer 2020 & socially distanced indoor classes; allowing those who didn’t feel confident exercising online/outside to remain active

3 clinical exercise programmes reaching 230 members via Zoom/telephone: Healthy Lungs for members with long term breathing conditions; Osteo Blast for those with Osteoporosis/Osteopenia; Steady & Stable for those at risk of fall

Over 88% of members found these activies helped improve their physical wellbeing during the lockdowns. Our members also reported the activities helped them to connect with friends, unwind/relieve anxiety related to Covid-19, and feel more confident/motivated in life. One member even said: “My GP says without the classes I would now be diabetic”.

And what exactly does winning the London Sport Health and Wellbeing Award mean?

This award was created to ‘highlight significant achievements in using physical activity to promote physical/mental health and wellbeing; emphasising how being physically active plays a part in supporting health outcomes’. Out of 270+ nominations for 10 distinct catagories, Open Age was 1 of just 3 organisations shortlisted for this award.

To be one of the nominated charitys was in itself a huge achievement - coming together with organisations from the Sport/Physical Activity Sector; celebrating the achievements made despite the pandemic. Winning this award was the ‘cherry on top’ of the feedback we already receive from our community of members:

“I cannot thank you enough for the provision, quality and variety of activities I’ve had the privilege of attending [online].  It’s always a joy. It’s nourishing to attend a class that counterbalances my (very sedentary) workday.  Thank you all” – Open Age Member ‘Fiona’, 67, Quoted in 2020

Any final comments about this amazing achievement?

“It is a great honour for Open Age to win this award, particularly within a sector that places a great deal of emphasis on young people and sport. This award pays testament to how we worked together – staff, tutors, members, volunteers and trustees - to achieve something great” – Deryn, Head of Physical Activities at Open Age

We just want to thank all our members who were so patient with us when classes were stopped, and who remained flexible and willing to learn when we launched our new remote programme. After 18 months you continue to inspire us with your enthusiasm to remain physically active and socially connected in whichever way is possible. Here’s to another 28 years of Open Age!


Working in Partnership

Open Age Charity Wins Major Sport Award for Innovative Physical Activities During Covid-19

Donate with peace of mind


Online payments to Open Age are processed by CAF - Charities Aid Foundation - which is a charity itself that supports other charities with banking, fundraising and lots more. It is safe to make a donation to Open Age using our donate buttons, powered by CAF.


For further information, please visit our make a donation page. Alternatively, please feel free to contact with any questions.

Thank you.