The Energize team described itself ‘delighted and privileged’ after winning one of the top prizes at Shropshire Chamber of Commerce’s new Chamber Champions awards.

The awards were created to ‘salute the Shropshire spirit’ for supporting the county through the Covid-19 crisis.

Energize won the Service to the Community trophy for its ‘virtual’ primary School Games, which were created during lockdown to encourage young people to stay active whilst also staying safe at home and ensure they didn’t miss out on their annual showpiece.

Activities were adapted to allow youngsters to try them at home, and the winners were judged based on submitted video and photographs.

Energize’s active lives officer Jake Jones, and chief executive Chris Child, both took part in the Chamber Champion awards event, a 90-minute show which was live streamed on Friday.

They described themselves ‘privileged to have been nominated, and wonderful to have been the winners’.

They paid tribute to all those behind the scenes, including Energize staff and School Games organisers across the county, who had worked hard to make the virtual games possible.

Up to 1,000 young people should have been descending on Shrewsbury Sports Village at the end of June for the climax of the primary School Games.

But the Covid-19 lockdown forced Energize into a change of plan.

Instead, working with the county’s six School Games organisers, a six-week ‘virtual’ version was created, serving up challenges based on dodgeball, new-age kurling, athletics, boccia, tennis and cricket.

“Encouraging exercise, and helping people to stay active, has never been more important during the Covid-19 lockdown, so we sat down with our team of School Games organisers to reshape the event.  It has also given us some good ideas around using digital and online to reach more young people and families in future, so that was an added bonus.”

Jake Jones added: “The idea was to create fun activities and competition for those in school and at home, while helping teachers and families to keep children active, and connected with their schools.”