SPAR has teamed up with European sprint champion Dina Asher-Smith, as part of a community-focussed activation of its British Athletics partnership.
The convenience store brand’s People’s Podium campaign is designed to recognise and reward individuals supporting community sport.
Triple Berlin 2018 gold-medallist Asher-Smith was on-hand to present winner Zahra Butt with her award at the Müller Grand Prix Birmingham.
The boxing coach from Nottingham was among four winners receiving £2,000 for their local sports project, alongside grand prize-winner Mike Briggs of Dumfries, who was awarded £10,000 from the People’s Podium fund.
Butt impressed judges with her work to develop women’s boxing in Nottingham, having discovered a love for the sport after giving birth to her son.
The young mother was inspired to become the first fully qualified female boxing coach in her region, to support more women in taking up the sport.
As the first hijabi boxing coach, Butt now uses her platform to support women in her community who have struggled against issues including domestic violence and gender inequality. She plans to invest her reward in developing more female boxing coaches.
Presenting the prize, Asher-Smith commented: “I was incredibly inspired meeting Zahra and hearing about the amazing work she’s done in her community.
“Gender equality in sport is something I am hugely passionate about and it is people like Zahra that are helping shift perceptions about women in sport whilst making a real difference at a grassroots level.
“I am really grateful for SPAR’s People’s Podium campaign for giving me the opportunity to meet Zahra and for the support it has given her and other people supporting sport in the UK.”
Michael Lawless, Interim Brand & Marketing Director at SPAR UK added: “Zahra’s story is truly inspiring. The work she has done in her community has given people in difficult circumstances an outlet to exercise in a safe and friendly environment.
"We are delighted to be able to highlight the incredible work done by Zahra, and several other local sporting heroes, as part of our People’s Podium campaign, and we hope that it inspires more and more people to follow her wonderful example and support sport in their communities.”
SPAR’s People’s Podium campaign is designed to showcase the convenience store group’s commitment to support local people and their communities, anytime and anywhere. The group has 2,600 local stores in communities around the UK.