The 21st annual disability sports awards dinner took place to celebrate the amazing work our volunteers, sportsmen, women, coaches and clubs continue to carry out across West Yorkshire. The dinner was fabulous with a wealth of special guest speakers on the bill, including Paralympian Elizabeth Wright who gave an inspiring insight into her training programme as a young girl in Australia. Kevan Baker OBE spoke of his journey to the top, including winning two Paralympic bronzes, becoming World Champion three times and his current commitments to Wheelpower and SPINE.
The awards were particularly successful for Leeds, our own Ann Hart MBE won volunteer of the year for her efforts to introduce more PHAB Leeds club members into sport after feeling inspired by the 2012 Paralympics. Ann said: “I was so amazed seeing the Paralympic Torch arrive at the John Charles Centre for Sport with what seemed like hundreds of disabled children taking part in every sport I could think of, that it was time to introduce more ‘sport’ into the Friday PHAB Club programme. I wrote to Sport England the very next day!” and the rest is history….
Left: Ann Hart with Sophie Allison – PHAB United’s first lady Powerchair footballer, and Nathan Lister. Right: Leeds Disability Sports Officer Ross Bibby collects the NGB award on behalf of the Tennis Foundation and LTA
The Lawn Tennis Association and Tennis Foundation picked up the the Cyril Villiers NGB of the year award for their work in disability tennis, particularly the support they provide to the partnership in Leeds where all forms of this sport are thriving.
A special award was also presented by Judith Russell MBE to the well-deserved team at Ralph Thorsby School in Leeds.
Special congratulations to our Leeds winners and to all the commendable winners on the night. Looking forward to next year!