DECATHLON UK Head of Brand Frances Sue hailed the company’s outside-the-box exploits during the Covid-19 pandemic after it was nominated for a high-profile London Sport Award.

The company’s stores were forced to shut down during the pandemic, with staff having to find new ways to ensure that people remained active.

Their efforts have been nominated for the Business Contribution Award, in association with the City of London Corporation, at the London Sport Awards which takes place on 6 December.

Live classes were hosted on social media with exercises and activities for those looking to keep moving, while a podcast hosted by former skier Graham Bell was also launched to encourage people to exercise.

Sue knows it was incredibly important for people’s mental and physical wellbeing that such support was provided and the 41-year-old said: “There were a lot of restrictions with the pandemic so we wanted to make sure that people kept moving.

“We saw an upsurge in cycling, as well as walking, as people wanted to get outside.

“It was really important to keep people moving through the pandemic. It was an unforeseen circumstance and it affected people in different ways. We knew that by keeping people moving it would improve people’s mental health and wellbeing.

“Without the help and support that Decathlon provided over the pandemic we thought that people would get out of the routine of moving, because many places were not open.

“People across the UK were struggling to find new and innovative ways to keep moving. Gyms were closed, swimming pools were closed so we wanted to provide that help and support.

“We’re super proud of the work that was provided over the pandemic.”

Over the last five years, the annual London Sport Awards, in association with the City of London Corporation, has grown to become the biggest celebration of grassroots and community physical activity and sport in the city.

And this year’s showpiece event will once again recognise, celebrate, and shine a light on the stories of the incredible individuals, groups and organisations for their outstanding work across the capital helping Londoners of all ages and backgrounds to be physically active.

Decathlon UK have been nominated for The Business Contribution Award, in association with The City of London Corporation, alongside Tideway and will find out if they’re a winner at the awards ceremony in Guildhall next Monday.

Sue added: “We’re super excited to be nominated for the Business Contribution Award.

“It was a time no one could foresee and we were continuing our mission to keep people active and healthy over this time, to make sure they kept moving during the pandemic.

“On a personal level, the nomination was really inspiring to me, as it demonstrated the impact we could have on people’s lives.

“If we were to win the award it would be an amazing achievement for Decathlon UK. We are here to inspire people to live healthier and active lives. We want to make sure people are moving, people are happy and are enjoying time together.”

The London Sport Awards, in association with the City of London Corporation, shines a spotlight on the unsung community heroes helping Londoners of all backgrounds to enjoy the benefits of physical activity and sport. Find out more about the Awards and how London Sport aims to make London the most physically active city in the world at #MakeYourMark