Each year, local BBC stations name their regional Unsung Hero of the Year as part of the BBC Sport Personality of the Year Awards with BBC London naming Audrey Livingston as theirs.
“I am fortunate to love what I do and I do what I love,” she said. “I always feel that those who I work closely with, whether its coaching or on committees or as a Technical Official, appreciate all the work that I do and for me it's just what I do, so for me to be recognised with this award is amazing”
Livingston is a Level 3 triathlon coach, National Technical Official, coaching mentor, member of the Triathlon England London Region Committee, part of the British Triathlon Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, recently named Chairperson of Crystal Palace Triathlon Club and has co-started a swimming programme to help encourage more Black and Asian women to take up the sport.
Behind each of these titles and qualifications, however, is a women who has made bettering the sport she loves and helping others to enjoy it the mainstay of her life for many years.
“My first coaching role was as a volunteer supporting the junior section at my club when it started,” Livingston said. “It was a great opportunity to give back and also to learn more about the sport myself. I completed my level one coaching course and just went from there.
“The club had made me feel so welcome and got me involved. There were no preconceived ideas about what I could or couldn’t do. The coaches were supportive and the members so encouraging, and I really wanted to be able to help others feel the same.”
As well as coaching, Livingston is involved in various other triathlon roles including officiating and sits on various committees at a local and national level, and she hopes that her being recognised with the award can spur others within the sport to continue volunteering or take it up for the first time.
“I hope that anyone within the world of triathlon and multisport realises that what they do is important, that it is recognised, and that people see what you are doing and how that impacts on those around you, Livingston added.
“This shows that the world of sport is not just about competing but is all about the journey to the finish line, whatever that line may be, and no matter how long it takes you to get there or how long it takes you to cross it. Sport is a journey that has a lot of pathways that you can follow.”
Andy Salmon, British Triathlon CEO, said: “The BBC Unsung Hero Award recognises those individuals who go above-and-beyond to help others to take part, and I’m delighted that Audrey has been recognised as the winner for London for all the time, energy and commitment she puts in to helping other people.
“She’s involved in triathlon in so many different ways as a coach, Technical Official and committee member at local and national level, and thoroughly deserves this award.
“Her dedication to supporting other people to take part, and to promoting women’s participation and that of people of colour in particular, shows her passion behind what she does.
“From everyone at British Triathlon, we want to say a massive thank you and congratulations to Audrey.”