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The finalists for the 2021 ukactive Awards have been officially announced, in a wide-ranging shortlist reflecting the scale and impact of the physical activity sector and partners both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The list includes fitness and leisure operators of all sizes, prominent suppliers, leading universities, as well as charities, following a flood of entries for this year’s awards, held in partnership with Active IQ.

The finalists for the new ‘Business Continuity and Success during COVID-19’ category include King’s College London, York Sport, and The Swimming Teachers’ Association.

One of the most anticipated categories, the ‘Healthy Communities Award’, will be hotly contested by finalists including Everyone Active, Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles, and Everybody Sport and Recreation.

The full list of finalists has been revealed on the ukactive Awards website.

Entries for the Club Centre of the Year will now go through a mystery shop and digital review conducted by Proinsight, while the next stage for most categories will see finalists present their entries at a virtual Judges’ House, between Monday, 28 June, and Friday, 9 July.

The Individual Achievement Award categories; ‘Physical Activity Hero’ and ‘Outstanding Leadership Award’, will be decided by an online public vote, which will go live on Monday 28 June.

Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive, said: “We are incredibly proud of our members and their teams for the strength, dedication, creativity and resilience shown in this most challenging year, and the incredible entries we have received for the ukactive Awards are testament to that.

“It is heartening to hear so many stories of excellence from across the breadth of our sector, and to see these examples of the essential role played by our members in improving the health and wellbeing of our communities.

“This year’s entries prove not only that competition in our sector is alive and well, but also the shared mission and unity, which makes this year’s awards particularly pertinent.

“Thank you to all those who have taken part in the awards process and congratulations to our finalists – we look forward to celebrating the winners at our awards ceremony later this year.”

Lee Buck, Head of Product Development at Active IQ, said “Active IQ would like to acknowledge all organisations and individuals who applied across all the categories.

“As headline sponsor and in our role as stage-one judges, it’s fantastic to see all the different initiatives happening across the sector and how the physical activity industry has helped and supported communities during the pandemic.

“Congratulations to everyone who has been shortlisted as a finalist – we wish you the best of luck for the next stage of the awards and look forward to hearing the final announcements.”

To find out more about the awards and read the full list of finalists, visit the ukactive Awards website.