Child cancer survivor Mia is Inspiring Person of the Year

“Without my leg I’m still Mia, but without sport I’m not”

Brave cancer survivor and amputee Mia Lloyd has been through more in her 12 years, than most face in a lifetime.

Mia, whose recovery was aided by the thought of getting back to the sports she loved, stole judges’ hearts to take the Inspiring Person Award at this year’s Wales Sport Awards.

 

Before her 10th birthday, Mia from Cardigan, was diagnosed with a rare type of bone cancer called Osteosarcoma. What was originally put down to ‘growing pains’ ended in the diagnosis of a tumour in her leg and cancer that had spread to her lungs.

“I felt shocked and emotional – I was angry but mostly just scared of what was going to happen to me” admits Mia.

During 10 months of gruelling chemotherapy at Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital in Cardiff, the inspiring youngster made the tough decision to have an above-the-knee amputation.

Unfazed, she says: “It was the best option for me because I really wanted to return to the running track as soon as possible.”

She adds: “I really enjoy the challenge of learning to walk, run and play sport on my prosthetic leg – it’s awesome choosing different colours and designs for each of the legs that I’ve had so far.”

After nearly a year in hospital, it was a visit from Disability Sport Wales Officer Gemma Cutter that gave Mia hope. She told her about all the sport opportunities and support open to her.

“Mia’s story is so powerful. She has turned everything she’s had to face at such a young age and turned it into something positive” explains Gemma.  “I very much look forward to seeing Mia continue to share the message that if you put your mind to something – anything is possible.”

She adds: “Mia is one of the most inspirational people I have ever met and deserves every recognition.”

Llanelli Scarlets rugby fan Mia now takes part in athletics, wheelchair basketball, swimming, golf, climbing, adaptive skiing and para-cycling.

“I just want to live a full, healthy, happy and adventurous life!” she says.

“Cancer has made me even more determined to succeed. With the constant support of Disability Sport Wales, I will take the opportunities that I am offered and smash it just like I smashed my cancer!” she adds.

“Cancer has changed my body but it hasn’t changed my love of sport. If I can get through that, I can do anything”

The Inspiring Person of the Year Award will be presented to Mia at the Wales Sport Awards, organised by BBC Cymru Wales and Sport Wales. The event is organised by BBC Cymru Wales and Sport Wales. Held at the Celtic Manor on Tuesday 10 December, it will be hosted by Gethin Jones and Carol Vorderman.

Michael Sheen’s proud moment wins award

One of the proudest moments of Michael Sheen’s life …

Here’s why the Homeless World Cup (Cardiff) is winner of the Great Sport Story of the Year 2019.

It starts with street football charities around the world encouraging people furthest away from mainstream support to play football for their country.

It’s football but it’s more than sport.

It often provides the first step on the path away from homelessness and back to social inclusion.

The Homeless World Cup is an annual tournament that provides these charities with a focus.

It helps give players who really engage with football a chance for something bigger.

They wear their nation’s shirt, sing their national anthem, represent their country.

When the Cup came to Cardiff this Summer, it welcomed over 500 players from nearly 50 nations for a 7-day festival of football. 23,000 visitors visited the event at Bute Park.

It leaves behind a legacy.

Tim Deacon, who was part of the organising team, said: “I can’t think of a better example of something that demonstrates the power of sport: to provide an opportunity that changes the course of someone’s life; to change people’s perceptions and to be the driving force for change. We’re absolutely delighted that all those who were involved have been recognised and rewarded in this way.”

Goodgym: even our cameraman was inspired!

GoodGym is changing lives, and that’s exactly what Paul Marke wants to help do after getting a close-up view of the good deed fitness group.

Paul had been tasked with capturing an inspiring story to showcase GoodGym’s success in the Wales Sport Awards 2019.

Little did he realise the experience, and the words of pensioner Spiro Galae, would have such a personal impact on him.

“Who couldn’t be inspired by the amazing work these people are doing to help out others in the community?,” said Paul, from Cardiff.

“The words of Spiro really struck me and I thought I could try and help out too. I’ve signed up and it’s the least I could do.

“I do a lot of running anyway but I’m really looking forward to getting involved with GoodGym’s group runs and activities, and the social side as well.

“Everyone goes through bad spells and loneliness and I can see that if I can help other people out it will help me feel better as well.”

Despite being less than three years old, GoodGym has carried out 5000 good deeds, particularly tackling isolation and loneliness amongst older people.

GoodGym won the Getting Wales Active Award at this year’s Wales Sport Awards at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport.

To read more about GoodGym click here.

Manager of a Wrexham football team BBC Wales’ Unsung Hero 2019

Delwyn Derrick commended for his work bringing people together through football

The manager of Wrexham-based Bellevue FC Delwyn Derrick has been awarded the title of BBC Wales Unsung Hero 2019. He has been recognised for his work supporting inclusion, using sport to bring people from different backgrounds together.

Former Wales, Manchester United and Wrexham winger Mickey Thomas, presented Delwyn with his award, surprising him and players during a training session.

Delwyn Derrick established Bellevue FC in 2016 in order to bring migrants, refugees and asylum seekers together to help them form new friendships in their new communities. Three years later, the team has had a number of successes, and has brought together players from countries all over the world.

The BBC Wales Unsung Hero is part of a UK-wide effort to find a great volunteer who has made a difference. Mr Derrick was nominated for the award by Bellevue players and his wife, Sam, who explained how he works to support the players on and off the pitch. Sam Derrick said:

“Delwyn has essentially become an unofficial ambassador for community cohesion and social integration. The club very quickly expanded from working solely within the foreign community to working with local people from perceived adverse backgrounds as he felt that he could create something bigger than just a football club. He has been building links around Wrexham solidly for three years now.”

Known as “Sheep” to the club’s players, Delwyn has been awarded a number of community awards for his work. One of the club’s players said:

“I’m an asylum seeker in this country and I’ve been part of the Bellevue family for a couple of months now. I’ve found camaraderie and support from team-mates and especially from Sheep, who’s been crucial for my integration.”

Presenting the BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality of The Year Award for Unsung Hero to Delwyn Derrick, former Manchester United, Chelsea and Wrexham player Mickey Thomas said: “It’s amazing, incredible – all the hard work he’s put in. Some things go unnoticed but he’s been rewarded and I think deservedly so. He has done amazing work behind the scenes and some people don’t get that recognition. I’m made up that someone like him has got this award because he deserves it.”

Delwyn will officially receive the award at the Wales Sport Awards ceremony on Tuesday, 10 December at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport.

He will then represent Wales in the BBC Get Inspired Unsung Hero, joining other winners from Scotland, Northern Ireland and English regions. The overall UK winner will receive their award at this year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony live on BBC One on  Sunday 15 December.

Looking ahead, Delwyn’s wife Sam said:

“Delwyn’s plan for the future of the club is simple. To ensure that the club remains for everyone and anyone who needs it and hopefully to open up to other age groups and reach more people who would benefit from being part of the Bellevue family.”

Running club with a difference wins national award

Not all superheroes wear capes!

Meet the Goodgym gang – winners of Getting Wales Active 2019 …

When you lace up your trainers and get out for a run, you can feel on top of the world.
Members of a life-changing gym go that extra mile again, tackling some big social issues while they jog!

GoodGym Cardiff and Vale, a social running club, sees runners give back to their local community with missions, including helping lonely older people.

Pensioner Spiro Galae says: “Sometimes I don’t see anybody. Now I’ve got somebody to talk to, something to look forward to. I’m grateful that they sacrifice their time to help me.”

Described as a “running club with a difference” organiser Ben Annear explains: “We run to help out community projects, charities, schools, isolated older people in the community with one-off tasks they can’t do themselves.”

“We also have members paired up to an older person in the community who they run to on a weekly basis” he adds.

Since the club launched back in 2017, they have completed an incredible 5000 good deeds and the Cardiff and Vale based club now has over 300 members.

“At Goodgym we are a family with a sense of belonging, giving something back” says Ben.

“We love doing what we do.”