Sports coach who broke every bone in his body is nominated for prestigious award.
PUBLISHED: 12:23 12 March 2019
A Paddington Rec sports coach who broke every bone in his body while out running has made the shortlist for the 2019 London Sport Awards.
Simon Lloyd, 53, who coaches at the playing field on the Brent border, was nominated as volunteer of the year for his work at Everyone Active – where he coaches patients to recover from physical and mental illness via walking programmes.
As well as Paddington Recreation Ground behind the Carlton Tavern, he coaches at the Porchester Centre in central London.
It could have been a very different story.
In 1997, while head of finance of at one of the biggest pension firms, Simon was hit by a car while running near his West Wickham home.
He broke every bone in his body and suffered near fatal brain injuries.
“My accident made me rethink my life completely,” said Simon.
“I realised just how fragile yet valuable life is.
“When my partner saw an advert in the local Westminster newspaper asking for volunteers to support their activity programmes, she thought it was perfect for me and I applied.”
The transition from finance to sports coaching was seamless, enabling Simon to support a wide range of people – young and old.
“One lady in her 60s is recovering from cancer,” he told the Times.
“When she joined she felt very isolated, wanted to get some exercise and find new friends.
“She has gone from being challenged by a 10-minute walk to now embracing a 90-minute route.
“Her confidence has grown enormously, and she has made new friends too.
“The walks give her day a focus that had been missing previously.”
This ability of Simon’s to change the fortunes of others has drawn praise from his employers, who are proud of his award nomination.
Relationship officer at Active Westminster, Ian Bannister, said: “Simon is an inspirational mentor and coach and is so committed to helping others.
“He has touched many lives – from youngsters to the elderly in our community – and I hope he will continue to do so for many years to come.”
Simon is one of three shortlisted candidates for volunteer of the year.
Everyone Active has a 10-year contract to run Westminster City Council’s nine leisure centres.
The winner of the award will be announced on Thursday.
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