Disabled Stars Shine at BBC SPOTY Awards
2012 has been an exciting year in the world of disability sports, and the stars of this summer’s Paralympics shone brightly at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards, held at the Excel Centre in London on Sunday 16th December.
Three Paralympic athletes were nominated for the overall Sports Personality of the Year prize: Wheelchair racer David Weir, swimmer Ellie Simmons, and cyclist Sarah Storey. Together the trio received over 14% of the public vote.
Bradley Wiggins, who topped the poll, said in an interview afterwards that he himself would have voted for David Weir (nicknamed ‘the Weirwolf’!) and was starstruck when he met the six-time gold medal winner.
15 year old swimmer Josef Craig, who set a new world record on his way to gold in the S7 400m freestyle category, won the Young Sports Personality of the Year prize. He joins a list of previous winners which includes Wayne Rooney, Andy Murray and Tom Daley, and his achievements are made even more impressive by the fact that he has overcome cerebral palsy and Graves’ disease on the road to success.
Sitting volleyball player Martine Wright, a double amputee who was injured in the terrorist attack which struck London on July 7th 2007, was presented with the Helen Rollason Award which recognises outstanding achievement in the face of diversity. She said:
“To be part of one of the biggest things that has ever happened, and represent my country, was amazing. No-one should underestimate the power of sport as a rehabilitation tool. For me, it gave me my confidence back. It gave me a goal again, a dream – something I could work towards. I’ve been given a rare opportunity that I never ever dreamed of when I had legs.”
If you’re feeling inspired, and you’d like to find out how you can get actives, contact the English Federation of Disability Sport.
By Ben Thomas, Marketing Officer