TENS of thousands of people in Southend do not complete 30 minutes of physical activity a day, new figures have revealed.

Active Essex announced the figure alongside opening nominations for the Active Essex Sports Awards – an event celebration individuals and organisation that encourage people to remain active.

New to this year’s ceremony, the inclusive communities award will recognise an individual or organisation that has had significant impact in connecting a community to advance interest and participation in sport or physical activity.

Azeem Akhtar, chairman of Active Essex, said: “This year’s awards are so important in recognising the role of grass roots and community sports which are helping us to tackle inactivity across the county along with other big issues such as obesity and mental health.

“There are nearly 42,700 people in Southend who do not take part in the recommended 30 minutes of physical activity a day but there are hundreds, maybe thousands of people in the area who are helping to inspire more people to get up off the sofa.

“Who are they? We want you to tell us so we can celebrate what they have achieved and share the stories of those they have helped”.

The ceremony will also celebrate the sporting achievements of individuals connected to Essex at the competitive level.

As a previous winner and having presented the Young Sports Personality of the Year award for two years running, five times Olympic medallist Max Whitlock MBE will return to the podium to recognise yet another inspiring young individual.

Max, who trains in Basildon, said: “As a previous winner at the sports awards, it is a fantastic feeling to be recognised for your personal achievements and it gives you encouragement to go further and inspire others.

“Often when you are starting out you may not be well known outside your field and the awards give a great platform to share your story with others.

“It only takes five minutes to nominate but your nomination could make a big difference to that individual or organisation.” The ten categories include Sports Personality of the Year, Changing Lives through sport and physical activity, Community club of the Year and Unsung Hero. Visit activeessex.org.