Scotland’s leading walking charities have today (4 February 2021) launched a new National Award to celebrate the people, organisations and communities who are supporting others to enjoy an active lifestyle.
The first-ever Scottish Walking Awards will showcase a broad range of inspiring walking projects – from businesses, councils, land managers and housing associations to the journalists, staff and local volunteers who inspire others to step out.
The Scottish Walking Awards features ten categories celebrating a wide range of contributions to getting people moving more in Scotland – as well as an overall Champion of Champions.
The awards are being organised by Ramblers Scotland, Paths for All and Living Streets Scotland, in conjunction with the National Walking Strategy Delivery Forum.
Nominations are encouraged from all regions of Scotland and all sections of society, including projects supporting people who use wheelchairs and other mobility aids. Anyone can make a nomination using a simple online form before the deadline on 31 March, and winners will be selected by an expert judging panel in April.
Mairi Gougeon, Health and Sport Minister said:
“Over the past year we have seen how important walking and wheeling is to the people of Scotland. With thanks to the many inspiring projects within our communities, people have rediscovered their local areas while keeping active during challenging times. I’m pleased to support Ramblers Scotland, Paths for All and Living Streets Scotland with the first Scottish Walking Awards to celebrate the people and places that are helping us to keep walking and enjoy the benefits of being active.”
Stuart Hay, Director, Living Streets Scotland said:
“Over the last twelve months we’ve seen people walking more and starting new projects in their communities to help everyone stay active. We want to celebrate these projects and the vitally important role of walking for health, wellbeing, and essential everyday journeys.
“This is particularly important in light of the impact of Covid, and leading up to COP26 later this year. Scotland can lead the way in celebrating everyday walking and we’re looking forward to celebrating all the fantastic work that’s going on all over the country.”
Brendan Paddy, Director, Ramblers Scotland said:
“Walking has the power to help create a healthier and happier nation, particularly as we respond to the urgent Covid and climate crises.
“There’s never been a better time to showcase the amazing communities and projects whose tireless work is opening the way for more people to enjoy the many benefits of walking.”
Ian Findlay, Chief Officer, Paths for All said:
“I would encourage all walking and wheeling projects to make nominations in the Scottish Walking Awards 2021. Collectively, we can showcase the transformative role walking plays in reducing health inequalities, lowering carbon emissions, and improving the environment.
“The ability to get out walking during the current lockdown is proving to be a life saver for many people’s mental wellbeing, social connections, and physical health, including my own.
“I want more people to benefit from an improved walking and wheeling environment. For that to happen, we need to demonstrate the outstanding work that is currently taking place.”