For the first time, volunteers involved with disability sport will be recognised at the prestigious Lancashire Sports Awards. The Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust award is given to an individual, administrator, coach or official who has made a highly significant voluntary contribution to disability sport in their area or across the county. The Disability Sport Forum, supported by Lancashire Sport Partnership, created the award in response to concerns from the public that Lancashire wasn’t promoting the fantastic work that is done to get people of all ability and disabilities active.
Andrew Whitaker, Chair of the Forum, said, “The support our Paralympians received last year at the London 2012 games raised the profile of what people can achieve, whatever their disability or background. We wanted to reflect the fantastic work that is done in Lancashire by an army of coaches, volunteers, and parents to get disabled people into sport, and keep them active. A lot of our Lancashire Paralympians have overcome tremendous challenges to achieve their ambitions, and we’re so proud of their achievements. But we also know we have so much talent here in the county, we feel we can do more.
“This new Service to Disability Sport Award, kindly sponsored by Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, will start to recognise those individuals who do so much in their local communities to support people of all ages into sport. We hope that this award will inspire others to get involved with sport and create opportunities for disabled people within their own sports clubs and develop new experiences for all.”
Jimmy Armfield, Chair of the Sports Awards judging panel, said, “It’s been a privilege to judge this new category. What we’ve heard only scratches the surface of what goes on in our county. We hope this new award will inspire others to get active, whatever their background or ability.”
The Lancashire Sports Awards are taking place at De Vere Hotel, Blackpool, Friday, October 11, hosted by BBC Lancashire’s Graham Liver, with special guest GB cyclist Steven Burke MBE. Tickets are available to anyone interested in supporting grassroots sport in Lancashire, with a fantastic opportunity to win one of the many raffle prizes donated to the occasion. Prizes include signed memorabilia from Manchester United, Everton, the Triathlon stars Brownlee brothers and British swimming stars. Raffle tickets can only be purchased on the night. For more information about the Lancashire Sports Awards, or opportunities for disabled and inclusive sports clubs, contact Liz Holt, 01772 299830.