There were celebrations all round when all three West Lindsey nominations for the Lincolnshire Sports Awards won their categories.
Gainsborough man Andrew Elsham was first up winning the active for health award. He said: “I am so thrilled, I am speechless! Things like this do not happen to someone like me. I am over the moon to win and can’t quite believe it.”
“I feel healthier and fitter than I have ever felt in my life and even though at times it’s been challenging it has been worth every second.”
Elsham has lost five stone over the last 18 months through diet and exercise, and has managed to turn his life around, planing a future career around teaching a career that he could only have dreamed of.
West Lindsey District Council health trainer Debbie Williams has worked closely with the 26-year-old and is really proud that he won this award.
She added: “He has put in so much hard work and effort into making these lifestyle changes and it just tops off a fantastic year for him.”
“To be recognised by the whole of Lincolnshire will really boost his confidence.”
Volunteer walk leaders Ann Bradshaw (70) and Karen Hunt (50) also won first place for their contribution to physical activity.
Bradshaw, who leads two walks a week, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled about receiving this award. I am proof that you are never too old to make a difference to the community.”
“The walking groups provide an opportunity for social interaction which is crucial for people living in rural areas and helps to improve health and wellbeing.”
Hunt joined the walking group when she moved into the area eight years ago and says it was one of the best decisions she ever made made.
She said: “People forget that to be healthy you need the balance between physical, mental and social health. Walking ticks all those boxes. To win this award was so unexpected but very much appreciated.”
West Lindsey Health Walks co-ordinator Jackie Brown was pleased but unsurprised that they had all won.
She said: “They put in so much effort and their free time, it is good to see them get the recognition they deserve.”
Between them they have clocked up more than 1,800 miles of brisk walking, despite their own health problems – Bradshaw survived breast cancer and Hunt a brain haemorrhage.