Connie Henry, whose charity Track Academy has helped hundreds of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds for more than a decade, is to be honoured with an international award.
The former triple jumper will be presented with the Best Values Award for Community Support at the World Sports Legends Awards (WSLA) in Monaco next month. The prize celebrates individuals who carry out work which embodies sport’s ethical and moral values. Following the presentation of her award, Connie will become a member of the WSLA committee and will help to choose future winners.
The organisers of the WSLA said: “Connie represents in the best way the values promoted by our prize. She is an example and a role model for the new generations through Track Academy. For this, she deserves the WSLA Best Values Award for Community Support. We are honoured and proud to award her with this accolade.”
Connie, who won bronze in the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, said: “I am over the moon to have been honoured with this award and am greatly looking forward to the ceremony next month.
“Having grown up in a very dysfunctional family myself, I never felt a sense of security at home as a child. Sport was the one thing that gave me stability. And, as I became an international athlete, it helped me to achieve social mobility and create the life I have now. Because of this, I’ve always been passionate about helping others do the same, and it gives me such pleasure to see the Track Academy students thrive with the help we give them.”
She added: “I am currently working on the inaugural Sport Gives Back Awards, which will be held in London in March. These will celebrate other UK organisations like Track Academy, which support people through sport to have a better life.”
Track Academy is a registered charity which uses sport for social change in Willesden, north London, which is in one of the country’s most deprived boroughs. For more than ten years, hundreds of student athletes have been given the drive to succeed both on and off the track. They are supported through athletics coaching, education sessions and one-to-one mentoring, and are encouraged to carve out fulfilling lives away from negative influences.
The work of Track Academy was recognised in an ITV documentary, Run For Your Life, earlier this year. The programme featured Confidence Lawson, who became a member of the academy as a teenager when it first opened. At the time, it was feared his negative behaviour would lead him to prison or worse. But thanks to Track Academy, he is now an international sprinter and a role model to current student athletes.
The fourth annual World Sports Legends Awards will be presented at the Fairmont Monte Carlo on Sunday, December 7. MotoGP world champion Loris Capirossi and Olympian Ana Gabriela Guevara will be amongst those receiving legend awards at the ceremony, which will be hosted by international ballet star Lorena Baricalla.
The event is created and produced by Promo Art Monte-Carlo Production and is supported by the Automobile Club de Monaco and the Sun Casino.