RAF Wittering fitness instructor wins Smart Award

Corporal Lauren Impey refereeing a football match at RAF Wittering.

The Smart Award for 2019 has been won by Physical Training Instructor Corporal Lauren Impey for a year of outstanding service to RAF Wittering. 

Named in memory of Senior Aircraftman James Smart, the award is presented only to those holding a junior rank who have performed exceptionally well in the preceding calendar year. The winner is drawn from a shortlist of twelve personnel who have received the Station Commander’s Monthly Award for Outstanding Achievement.

Directed physical training is a group fitness activity, planned and controlled by a Physical Training Instructor. Lauren (29) won praise for her work with No 2 Mechanical Transport Squadron when she adapted the Squadron’s regime to include suitable exercises for injured personnel, meaning that they could still train together.

Lauren has an MSc in Adapted Physical Activity, an instructor’s qualification that enables her to help people with physical impairments exercise to the best of their ability. 

Corporal Impey is well qualified for her role and her love of sport, particularly football, goes back a long way. She said:

“I am a die-hard Liverpool fan. Even before I could walk, my brothers used to hold me up and try to get me to kick a football.”

In 2009 Lauren represented GB Women’s Football at the World University Games in Belgrade, beating France to the bronze medal. Between 2011 and 2014 she spent three years at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania on a soccer scholarship. 

Each year, RAF Wittering celebrates its sporting achievements with a Sports Personality of the Year Award. The occasion brings together all ranks and recognises fitness and sporting excellence. Corporal Impey’s characteristic energy and hard work ensured the 2019 awards were a complete success.

Squadron Leader Rob Jones is Officer Commanding Force Development Squadron, of which RAF Wittering’s Physical Education Flight is a part. He said:

“Corporal Impey is absolutely tireless, she is full of ideas and energy. What really impresses me is how Lauren strives to make exercise, fitness and sport accessible to as many people as she can – no matter their level of ability.”

Group Captain Jo Lincoln and Corporal Lauren Impey.
Cpl Impey receives SMART award from Stn Cmdr RAF Wittering Gp Capt Jo Lincoln.

Lauren was presented with her award on Monday. She said:

“I’m just really grateful. When there are people who believe in you, and you feel empowered in your work, it’s amazing what you can achieve. The people I work with are brilliant, and it makes a massive difference.”

Group Captain Jo Lincoln is the Station Commander at Royal Air Force Wittering. She said:

“People are our greatest asset and we are so fortunate to have someone like Lauren in the RAF and supporting RAF Wittering. Corporal Impey is motivated to pursue excellence; not just because of what it can bring to her, but because of how it can benefit others. This selflessness is the RAF’s ethos in action and exactly why Lauren has won this award. She is an inspiration to all and a role model for the next generation RAF. Congratulations Corporal Impey!”

Top image: Corporal Lauren Impey refereeing a football match at RAF Wittering.

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