The Heart Foundation has announced four inspiring Aussies as winners in the 2020 Golden Shoe Awards.
Run annually by Heart Foundation Walking, the Golden Shoe Awards recognise individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to walking.
One of the four winners is local woman Leoni Warren of Tweed Heads South. Leoni, 66, has been one of the Walk Organisers of the Banora Walkers Heart Foundation Walking Group since it started in April 2011. Over the years, Leoni has helped to plan dozens of walks for the group’s 45 members.
‘I enjoy researching new places to explore on our walks and setting out on an adventure. We have discovered some interesting walking tracks and waterways,’ said Leoni.
Very rewarding to see confidence and ability grow
Leoni also enjoys watching her members’ health and fitness improve through regular walking. ‘We have had people join us after a heart attack or to help with their mobility. It is very rewarding to see their confidence and ability grow week by week.’
Though the Tweed Shire is a popular retirement destination, some find themselves lonely after moving there. ‘They leave behind friends they made through work or their kids’ school and have to start all over again,’ said Leoni. ‘Heart Foundation Walking is a great platform for making new friends.’
Heart Foundation Director of Active Living, Adjunct Professor Trevor Shilton, congratulated this year’s Golden Shoe Award winners.
‘These award recipients have all demonstrated a wonderful commitment to walking, which will in turn inspire and encourage others to be more physically active,’ said Professor Shilton.
Being inactive is a risk factor for heart disease
‘This is important, because being inactive is a risk factor for heart disease, which continues to be the single leading cause of death in Australia.
‘Getting involved in Heart Foundation Walking is a great way to ensure you meet the recommended minimum 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week, and as our winners can attest, it can also be a source of great fun and friendship.’
The winners will each receive a gift card and a Golden Shoe Award pin.
Heart Foundation Walking is supported by the Australian Government, the Queensland Government and SportAUS.
The other winners were Leadership Winner: Nikki Baluk of Waikiki, WA; Wellness Warrior Winner: Judy McGurk of Fisher, ACT, and; Courage and Commitment Winner: Jean Seary of Nowra, NSW.
Find out your risk of heart attack or stroke by using our Heart Age Calculator. For heart health information and support, call the Heart Foundation Helpline on 13 11 12. To find out about the Heart Foundation’s research program or to make a donation, visit: www.heartfoundation.org.au.