Young Hucknall football coach presented with special annual police award at glittering ceremony

Young Hucknall football coach Zeko Smith joined 11 other remarkable young Nottinghamshire people in being honoured at this year’s Live Our Best Lives Awards.
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Organised each year by Nottinghamshire Police, the awards shine the spotlight on inspirational and amazing children and teenagers in the county.

The awards are for young people aged eight-18 who have shown incredible resilience, selflessness, talent, or have done something inspirational or risen above adversity, highlighted for their achievements.

This year’s ceremony was held at the Village Hotel in Chilwell and the night treated guests to not only outstanding performances, but also the chance to showcase exactly why the winners and runners-up had been chosen.

Hucknall football coach Zeko Smith was presented with the Young Leader Award at the Live Our Best Lives Awards. Photo: Chris & Jeanette Holloway/The Bigger Picture.mediaHucknall football coach Zeko Smith was presented with the Young Leader Award at the Live Our Best Lives Awards. Photo: Chris & Jeanette Holloway/The Bigger Picture.media
Hucknall football coach Zeko Smith was presented with the Young Leader Award at the Live Our Best Lives Awards. Photo: Chris & Jeanette Holloway/The Bigger Picture.media

Twelve-year-old Zeko won the young leader of the year award for leading by example and being a role model to their peers and other young people through student, sport, or youth work.

The young Hucknall Warriors player, not only captains his team, but dedicates hours of his time every week to football training, coaching other young people, encouraging and helping his team-mates with their mental wellbeing before games, and supporting coaches of other teams.

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Another winner stepping up to collect an award was Jahlil Kumar, aged 15, who won the Lyrico Steede award – named in memory of a murdered Bulwell teenager – for making significant progress and inspiring others to make positive decisions and better life choices.

Jahlil Kumar won the Lyrico Steede Award. Photo: Chris & Jeanette Holloway/The Bigger Picture.media,Jahlil Kumar won the Lyrico Steede Award. Photo: Chris & Jeanette Holloway/The Bigger Picture.media,
Jahlil Kumar won the Lyrico Steede Award. Photo: Chris & Jeanette Holloway/The Bigger Picture.media,

The awards were once again held in connection with the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation and featured a special video message from Stephen’s mother, Baroness Lawrence, explaining her support.

Romel Davis, youth outreach worker with Nottinghamshire Police and awards founder, said: “This year’s awards were such a fantastic event and we’re still on such a high.

“I’m so proud of this year’s winners and runners-up.

“We are so passionate about working with young people in Nottinghamshire and the awards are just one way we are continuing to shine a light on all of the amazing work being done.

“Live Our Best Life 2023 was such a huge success and I want to thank everyone involved from our sponsors, performers, and anyone who shared and supported this year’s awards for their time and continued backing.

“And of course, I want to say a huge congratulations to every single winner and runner-up for being a truly inspirational person.”