ANNOUNCING OUR AWARD WINNERS from the inaugural Police UK Sports Awards, proudly sponsored by Axon, held last week at the National Police Chiefs Council in Manchester.

We are grateful to all our sponsors for supporting the event but in particular to Axon for very generously sponsoring the Volunteer of the Year Award during the evening. This year’s worthy winner was Pete Williams from the Greater Manchester Police and the award was presented to him on they night by Mike Ashby-Clarke from Axon

Peter Williams is a Detective Constable with Greater Manchester Police and has served for over 16 years. Pete has always been a keen sports person and took this lead from his Dad, John, who was a semi-professional footballer in his younger years. Pete has enjoyed a varied sporting career but in more recent years he has trained for Strong Man events and more latterly become an active positive competitive CrossFit athlete. Pete is a key figure for GMP CrossFit and been very active in participating in PSUK events with teams from around the country.

In 2011 Pete’s Dad, John, was diagnosed with throat cancer following a very short illness. John had lifesaving surgery and needed to be fed via his stomach and he lost the use of his voice. Macmillan Cancer Support provided critical recovery treatment enabling John to become stronger and eventually regain the use of his voice – he has recently been given the all clear from his cancer. Pete experienced first-hand the destruction cancer causes; he was overwhelmed by the level of care and compassion of the cancer charities he came into contact with and wanted to give something back that reflected this.

Pete decided to combine his love for the sport CrossFit with others to raise funds for cancer charities across the UK. Pete is one of the co-founders of ‘Battle Cancer’ which started as an event in Manchester to raise funds for organisations supporting cancer victims and their families. It started with small scale fundraising events in 2015 – 2016 and expanded into a mass participation fitness event in 2017. The initial event saw 320 people taking part and they raised £60,000. In 2018 they expanded, holding events in Manchester and London; both events were sold out almost immediately. The events have raised international awareness and the events are now also run in Dublin, San Diego, Sweden, Boston, Toulouse and Berlin. Charities in the UK that have benefited from this are: Macmillan Cancer, CRUK, Prostate Cancer UK, Teenage Cancer Trust & Children with Cancer UK. Lots of smaller hospices around the country have also benefited. Overseas they work with and raise funds for the American Cancer Society, AEEC in Madrid, Krebshelfe in Germany and the Irish Cancer Society.

To date Battle Cancer has raised over £500,000 and that number is set to rise with the international events. Battle Cancer is the world’s only 100% non-profit functional fitness event. Their movement has brought together Mums, Dads, Sons, Daughters, Friends and Neighbours all with the same aim – to raise money to support a cancer charity of their choice. Battle Cancers mission is to raise awareness and funding for cancer charities whilst helping facilitate survivors or families to return to health and strength through fitness.

BC does not try to find the fittest, strongest or toughest athletes, its message is simple. The workouts are accessible for everyone; cancer victims and their families, have a place to fight back and raise funds for their chosen charity at the same time. The events are a coming together of diverse communities to celebrate life (and death) whilst fundraising and boosting their own fitness. He devotes a lot of his spare time to planning events for BC, most of which so far has gone unrecognised. We as a community would like to see Pete receive some recognition for his efforts in raising awareness and funds fighting back and paying forward.

With over 26 years of advancing technology, Axon is dedicated to a bold and powerful mission to Protect Life and Obsolete the Bullet. Axon is the global leader of connected public safety technologies. We stand for protecting life, protecting truth, transparency, and accountability. Rick Smith founded Axon (formerly TASER International) following the deaths of two high school friends who were gunned down in an act of road rage. This tragedy sparked a passion in Rick to seek new technologies that would enable people to protect themselves without deploying lethal force. Our connected body-worn camera technology and evidence-management cloud are designed to help police officers work efficiently actively and transparently. Axon’s mission from the start has been to make the bullet obsolete, reduce social conflict and ensure criminal justice systems are fair and effective.