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Sport For Confidence receives honours at Occupational Therapy Awards

Sport for Confidence was set up in 2016 when co-founder, Lyndsey Barrett, left the NHS with an idea to place an Occupational Therapist in every leisure centre around the country. Eight years on they have been recognised at the Occupational Therapy Excellence Awards.

A man and a woman hold an award on stage. They are in front of two screens showing the name of the event they are attendidng, the Occupational Therapy Excellence Awards.

The group was announced as winner of the ‘Excellence In Emerging Roles’ award at the national Occupational Therapy Excellence Awards. It was recognised for its pioneering work hardwiring occupational therapy driven services into community sport and leisure settings.

Lisa Westhorpe, Occupational Therapist, National Team, Sport for Confidence said:

"It’s absolutely fantastic to win this particular award because it represents professional recognition from the Occupational Therapy community for the groundbreaking work we are delivering, using physical activity to drive positive occupational outcomes and tackle health inequalities"

In addition to winning the ‘Excellence in Emerging Roles’ award, Sport for Confidence was also a finalist in the ‘Most Innovative Use of Practice’ award for the organisation’s partnership with Essex Country Council that delivered a two-year test and learn pilot to measure the positive impact of embedding physical activity into a whole system approach to adult health and social care.

Lisa added:

"Occupational therapists typically work within the NHS or social care sectors, where physical activity is rarely a part of their practice. At Sport For Confidence, we are pioneering a new approach that embeds physical activity into occupational therapy.
"Through lectures, student placements, our community of practice, partnerships and events, we actively share our insights and successes with the wider occupational therapy community. This equips occupational therapy students, OT support workers and registered occupational therapists with the skills and confidence they need to use physical activity not just to deliver leisure occupations, but also as a powerful tool for assessment, intervention, and engagement in therapy. It is this groundbreaking work that this award recognises."

The Occupational Therapy Excellence Awards recognise and reward the very best in occupational therapy, showcasing practices, companies and individuals that enable people to enjoy a better life. The 2024 winners were announced on July 5 at a prestigious ceremony hosted by the National Conference Centre, Bickenhill, West Midlands.

To find out more about the work of Sport for Confidence, visit:

For mor information about the awards visit