Eddie Brocklesby, a 73-year-old grandmother from Vauxhall, has today been named as the nation’s most inspiring and dedicated sport and fitness role model after winning The Gym Group’s Unsung Heroes of Sport & Fitness Awards. The awards seek to recognise incredible individuals in the local community who have motivated women to enjoy the benefits of physical activity.
Fitness champion Eddie, who was a social worker for 50 years, was nominated for the award for setting up charity Silverfit. Established in 2013 with just five people and now nearly 1,000 in 18 different venues, the London-based charity’s aim is to promote physical activity and wellbeing in today’s ageing population, enabling older people to make new friends and lead an independent life for longer. Activities offered across include Silver Cheerleading, spinning classes, walking football, Nordic walking and Pilates.
Ambassador for Sports England
Eddie is also an ambassador for Sport England’s ‘This Girl Can’ campaign, proving it’s never too late after taking up sport in her fifties and at the age of 72 became Britain’s oldest female ironman triathlete. She regularly works out at The Gym Vauxhall and explains: “I wasn’t very sporty in my youth and only started running and thinking of entering a half marathon in later life. A doctor/ friend had advised me to get my bone and muscle strength up pre-menopause as women are at four times greater at risk of osteoporosis. Then my husband challenged `you couldn’t even run 3 miles’ to which I replied ‘Oh yes I can! And I did!”
On hearing the news of her win, Eddie commented: “It’s wonderful to receive recognition of the work with Silverfit and also supporting ‘This Girl Can’. I want to encourage other women to get the fun out of sport and exercise that I have had. For the older generation, exercise helps reap a wealth of health and social benefits. It’s not only helping us to live longer, but it’s more about living life to the full, independently and happily. I’m living proof that age is no barrier to exercise!”
Former double Olympian and General Manager of The Gym Bristol, Allyn Condon, was part of an expert judging panel also featuring Saracen’s rugby player Deborah Fleming, former England netball captain Pamela Cookey and last year’s Unsung Heroes of Sport national champion Rachael Austen-Jones, who runs the nutrition and weight loss consultancy, Be Healthy Be You. Allyn comments: “Eddie is such an inspiring woman. She has demonstrated real determination and passion to compete at an elite level and continues to make a huge contribution to getting more women, more active.
“On behalf of everyone at The Gym Group, we’d like to congratulate Eddie on becoming our national winner and making such a difference to the wellbeing of her community and inspiring them to lead fitter, healthier lives.”