Hinckley woman nominated for BBC Unsung Hero Award
By Lauren Sedgley
A Leicestershire woman has been nominated for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Unsung Hero award for her charity and volunteer work.
Denise Larrad, from Hinckley, has been nominated for the award after launching her own fitness groups and inspiring the people of Hinckley to become more active.
When Miss Larrad discovered she had been nominated for the award, she said: “I burst into tears, same as I did when I watched the film on East Midlands Today last week, it made me cry, honestly it made me cry, I sat there bawling my eyes out.”
After being awarded the honour of running with the Olympic Torch back in 2012, it motivated her to launch these groups to encourage people to get more active.
Miss Larrad said: “I do beginners’ running groups, I do a walking group for the over-50s, I do a falls clinic for old people who have had falls, brain injuries, got Parkinson’s disease and that sort of thing, I do explorers sessions which are like treasure hunts for kids down in Hollycroft Park so that’s for 3-11 year olds.
“I do all sorts, I’m a fit buddy, I go out with people on an individual basis, one lady I take to a mature movers class, another gentlemen I walked with, I used to go to the gym with another lady I do individual walking sessions with people and things like that you know, so I get out and about quite often doing things with different people.”
Graeme Chilvers, who is health and recreation manager at Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council, nominated Miss Larrad for the award because of her volunteering and fundraising for the local area.
Alongside her fitness groups, Miss Larrad has raised tens of thousands of pounds for charities by doing various activities.
“I’ve done marathons, half marathons, I’ve climbed Kilimanjaro – that was a trip that I won on Facebook and I did that for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and we went to visit sporting projects in Kenya that they support.”
Miss Larrad has already been recognised for her efforts in her home town.
“I’ve won two unsung hero awards in my local town, for the Hinckley and Bosworth sports awards, and I’ve won that twice and that was quite nice.”