Kickboxer Nesta Baxter wins Inspirational Sportsperson Award

Student impresses the Active Lincolnshire Physical Awards judges

Nesta Baxter.
Nesta Baxter.

Kickboxer Nesta Baxter claimed the Inspirational Sportsperson Award at Active Lincolnshire’s 16th Sport and Physical Awards ceremony.

Owing to the coronavirus pandemic and the latest restrictions, last Thursday's event took place virtually via the charity’s YouTube channel, hosted by former Olympian and Commonwealth Games Champion Craig Heap.

This year’s awards were a chance for the county to recognise and celebrate the efforts of groups and individuals who have helped to keep Lincolnshire active, healthy and motivated despite the challenges many have faced this year.

Within 11 categories, 33 finalists were put forward to receive an award for their efforts and contributions to the community.

Nesta, a medical student at Newcastle University and a coach for Evolution Martial Arts in Boston, has continued to teach students from her martial arts group via Zoom throughout the lockdown period.

While continuing her teaching and studies virtually, Nesta has also been training with coaches from around the world to complete a 200-mile challenge in aid of pancreatic cancer.

To further assist the local community, she has also been working at her local doctors’ surgery to provide additional support during the pandemic.

"I compete in kickboxing, at international level training for World and European team championships," she said.

"I'm studying medicine and surgery at Newcastle University at the medical school there.

"I hope to be able to inspire a lot of people, students at the club I coach at, by being able to show my own training, how I'm adapting, how I've juggled kickboxing at such a high level with medicine."

Skegness & District Running Club - who have a Boston branch - won the Active Club Award for their dedication to their members during lockdown.

The club organised online quizzes for their members and kept in regular contact with those who found the uncertainty of the pandemic especially difficult, offering a support system through new friendships and online social groups.

Once restrictions lifted the club organised virtual runs for smaller groups and weekly activities for all to participate in, ensuring that their members were keeping active and promoting positive mental wellbeing through their activities.

The club's Helena Shelton said: "The club has been going since 2015 and we believe we're unique because we cover Horncastle, Skegness, Spilsby and Boston.

"We have over 200 members. With the lockdown, one of our members organised a virtual parkrun and it really did motivate you to get out on a Saturday morning and have a 5k run.

It's not just all about running, it's about making friendships and that's what we love about the club, it encourages everybody."