Dance and physical activity programme MovementWorks has been nominated for a prestigious London Sport Award for its game-changing role encouraging everyone in the capital to be active.

MovementWorks has been nominated for the Uniting London Award, in association with Sport England, for its work in not only boosting learning by physical activity, but also for moving online during the Covid-19 pandemic.

MovementWorks engages with young children at school and also provides sessions for those with autism and other learning difficulties, among other sessions.

And Founder and CEO Ali Golding, who leads several classes, says the nomination is the perfect recognition after almost two years of adapting sessions. 

She said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to be nominated for this award, especially in one of the most challenging years for so many organisations. 

“We were luckily able to put our services online and unite not only our regular beneficiaries, but introduce our work to a brand-new audience.

“Covid has been devastating for many of us, in terms of the work that we do but also on a personal level, as some of the children and young people we work with already have emotional challenges.

“They were in a very challenging position through extended months of not having that face-to-face contact, as well as not having opportunities to move.

“We were able to take our programme online and it was a lot more successful that we first envisioned - in terms of the length of time we delivered that programme online and the impact that it had on young people.

“We’ve been told it really was a lifesaver for very many people, both physically and emotionally.”

Over the last five years, the annual London Sport Awards, in association with the City of London Corporation, has grown to become the biggest celebration of grassroots and community physical activity and sport in the city. 

And this year’s showpiece event will once again recognise, celebrate, and shine a light on the stories of the incredible individuals, groups, and organisations for their outstanding work across the capital, helping Londoners of all ages and backgrounds to be physically active.

Among those who MovementWorks visit are children at The Puddleduck Nursery in Nunhead, where Golding runs a weekly session.

Nursery Owner and Director Carol Bromley says the difference in children after taking part in the sessions was noticeable since they began ten years ago.

Bromley said: “We’ve come to understand that it’s a lovely programme that really addresses the whole holistic development of a child and tunes into their development and their learning in many different ways. 

“We see the children develop self-confidence as they feel proud that they’ve achieved some of the dance moves and games that Ali delivers for them. 

“As the weeks progress and we practice and we rehearse a little bit, they re-visit and repeat some of their actions. We see their movements develop and their confidence in what they can do develop throughout the programme.

“They love the music and Ali gives them specific actions to do to that music, but they see it as having fun. We have a range of music so it appeals to lots of different children’s ideas of what fun music is, and they develop lots of different movements to that music.”

The London Sport Awards, in association with the City of London Corporation, shines a spotlight on the unsung community heroes helping Londoners of all backgrounds to enjoy the benefits of physical activity and sport. Find out more about the Awards and how London Sport aims to make London the most physically active city in the world at #MakeYourMark