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.”

Wales Sport Awards organisers are urging people to ‘Inspire Us’

The Wales Sport Awards are back and today (Monday 2 September), nominations open to find the community sport stars that are the heroes of grassroots sport in Wales.

As well as celebrating the very best of elite sport in Wales, the Wales Sport Awards recognise the organisations individuals and sporting experiences that are gripping the nation at a grassroots level.

Whether it is a person who takes part in sport against all the odds or an event that has truly showcased the wide reach and power of sport, the search is on to #InspireUs.

The categories for nomination are:

  • Inspiring Person – new award to recognise a person who takes part in sport against the odds, achieved something brilliant in sport in the face of adversity or a person who goes above and beyond to encourage others to achieve great things
  • The Great Sport Story – a new award to recognise a moment that has put sport on the map in Welsh communities over the past year
  • Getting Wales Active – celebrate something or someone that has enabled sport in Wales to thrive and for more people to participate in – and enjoy – physical activity

The Wales Sport Awards, hosted jointly by BBC Cymru Wales and Sport Wales, are the country’s biggest annual celebration of the best of elite and community sport. This year the star-studded ceremony will take place at the Celtic Manor on December 10.

Nominations for the BBC Get Inspired Unsung Hero will also open later this month.

Lawrence Conway, Chair of Sport Wales said, “The Wales Sport Awards provide the chance to showcase the multiple benefits of sport. We want the Awards to continue to capture the innovative, thrilling and diverse nature of Welsh sport – and to recognise the people at the heart of it all. To do that, we need you to nominate. Let’s celebrate the very best of Welsh sport together.”

Rhodri Talfan Davies, Director, BBC Wales said, “The awards are an opportunity to acknowledge outstanding achievements in Welsh sport, from elite players at the top of their game to volunteers at grassroots. Looking back over the year, we celebrate the success of individuals and groups across the nation and we want people to nominate those who’ve made a real difference.”

Nominations for the community awards are now open at www.walessportawards.co.uk where you can also find more information about the categories. This year, there is also the chance to film your nomination (details on the website)

Nominations close at midnight on Sunday 22 September.

The ceremony includes the presentation of the prestigious BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year award.

For more information about the event, please go to www.walessportawards.co.uk

#WSA2019 #InspireUs

Geraint Thomas is BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year 2018

Cyclist Geraint Thomas has rounded off a golden year by being crowned BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year 2018.

He was announced as the winner in the star-studded Wales Sport Awards tonight, with snooker’s Mark Williams and skeleton racer Laura Deas announced in second and third place.

The 32-year-old road and track cyclist treated fans to one of the greatest moments in Welsh sporting history, with a faultless performance which saw him become the first Welshman to win the Tour de France. He was welcomed home by a crowd of more than 8,000 people who had lined the streets of Cardiff, and that support has been echoed again as Thomas topped the poll for the BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year.

Other sporting heroes were honoured at the event, as Sport Wales and BBC Wales joined forces once again to hold the country’s biggest annual sporting celebration at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport.
Tanni Grey-Thompson was given a lifetime achievement award. One of the most successful Paralympians of all-time, she is also a champion of disability sports and has campaigned tirelessly on athlete welfare.

The other winners were:

Team of the Year Award – Cardiff Devils
Coach of the Year – Jayne Ludlow
BBC Get Inspired Unsung Hero Award – Asa Waite
Carwyn James Sportswoman of the Year Award – Elynor Backstedt
Carwyn James Sportsman of the Year Award – James Bowen
Inspiring Young Person Award – Fran Smith
Volunteer of the Year Award – Gareth Lanagan
Organisation of the Year Award – The Outdoor Partnership
Getting Wales Active Award – Get Out, Get Active
Community Coach of the Year – Aled Jones-Davies

For the second year running, Cardiff Devils have taken the award for Team of the Year having cemented their place as one of the best teams in the history of the sport in the UK. They reached the final of the Challenge Cup, won the Earhardt Conference and finished top the Elite League once again before going on to win the play-off final for the first time since 1999.

Coach of the Year was awarded to coach of the Welsh ladies football team Jayne Ludlow, whose team has soared to their highest place ever in the world rankings under her leadership.

Founder of the Newport Aces Basketball Club Asa Waite was named the Unsung Hero for his dedication to encouraging youngsters to take part in sport.

The Carwyn James Sportsman of the Year award went to jockey James Bowen who raced into the record books this year as the youngest winner of the Welsh Grand National aged just 16.

Cyclist Elynor Backstedt was named the Carwyn James Sportswoman of the Year Award. A national junior champion on the track, Elynor was part of the team pursuit quartet that won bronze at the World Championships and then went on to finish third at the World Road Junior Championships.

The Inspiring Young Person accolade went to Fran Smith from Caernarfon. A coach, volunteer and mentor, Fran has put in hundreds of volunteer hours despite her struggle with chronic fatigue and other health issues.

Volunteer of the Year was Gareth Lanagan for his passion in developing cricket in Dolgellau, whilst Aled Jones-Davies was named the Community Coach of the Year for work in promoting running in his hometown of Carmarthen.

Organisation of the Year Award went to the Outdoor Partnership for their work in helping thousands of people use outdoor activity to improve their lives in Gwynedd, whilst the Wales-wide venture Get Out, Get Active – a project which operates in Wrexham, Pembrokeshire and Rhondda Cynon Taff – won the Getting Wales Active Award for its success in getting at least 1,500 inactive people in Wales moving.

Receiving his award, Geraint Thomas BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality of the Year 2018 said: “This is massive. It’s something I always grew up watching when I was younger and just to be nominated shows that you’ve done something special. So to win it, and to have everyone to vote for me, is really nice. It’s a lovely way to finish off the year.”

Reflecting on the success of his year, Geraint Thomas said: “Even before the Tour, winning the Dauphiné was my biggest result to that point. And then to go on, and do what happened in the Tour was insane. And now this is a lovely way to cap it all off.”

Rhodri Talfan Davies, Director, BBC Wales said: “Congratulations to Geraint Thomas on this accolade, and to everyone who has been honoured this evening. Tonight is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the best of Welsh sporting success; from the grassroots volunteers who are the backbone of clubs to the glittering success of our top athletes, it’s about saying thank you to those who make Welsh sport what it is.”

Sarah Powell, Chief Executive of Sport Wales, said: “Once again, the Awards have served as an opportunity to celebrate the very best of sporting life from across the country. We are incredibly proud of all of the sporting stars – both grassroots and elite – and are positive that they will help inspire more people to enjoy an active lifestyle in Wales. The Wales Sport Awards allow us the chance to look back and celebrate what the sporting year had to offer and look forward to what 2019 has in store.”

Inspiring Caernarfon teen wins national Wales Sport Award

A young wheelchair tennis star will be recognised for her voluntary work in sport by receiving the Inspiring Young Person accolade at the Wales Sport Awards 2018.

Caernarfon teenager Fran Smith has put in hundreds of volunteer hours despite her struggle with chronic fatigue and other health issues.
Fran, 19, will receive the accolade at the Wales Sport Awards 2018, held at the Celtic Manor on December 4.

The Cardiff Met student is well respected in the world of disability sport, including wheelchair basketball, tennis and boccia.

Volunteering is a family affair and Fran credits her caring nature to her mum, Deb Bashford, a wheelchair user herself and passionate sports volunteer.

“She’s taught me so much in life” explained Fran, whose mum also won a Volunteer Award at the Wales Sport Awards two years ago.

She added: “When you grow up with a severely disabled mother who never lets anything stop her, you think why should I let anything stop me?”

The mother and daughter duo often spend time together helping at Caernarfon Celts wheelchair basketball club in their Gwynedd hometown.

Her proud mum added: “I encouraged Fran to get involved, but she took it to the next level.

“At just 19 years old, she has gone above and beyond what I could have ever imagined. It is mind blowing. I am so proud of her.”

A few years back, inspiring teen Fran said she “hit rock bottom” in her life, but volunteering and competing in wheelchair tennis helped her through it.

She explained: “I didn’t know what to do with my life and I never want other people to feel the way I did when I was at my lowest point.”

Coach, volunteer and mentor Fran proudly sits on the Disability Sport Wales Youth Board to help inspire others.

According to Gwynedd Disability Sport Wales Officer Marcus Politis, she has “maturity way beyond her years.”

He said: “Fran is a stand-out volunteer and with her commitment to local, regional and national projects, she has developed into a model professional.”

Her university agrees. Dan Heggs, Head of Department and Principal Lecturer in Psychology at Cardiff Met added: “We are delighted that Fran has been recognised for the fantastic attitude she displays day to day and the time she gives to volunteering and ultimately enthusing others to engage with sport.

“She is a very inspiring individual and I’m confident that she has a successful future ahead of her.”

Sarah Powell, CEO at Sport Wales added: “Yet again, we have a very high standard of community award winners who demonstrate the amazing work happening in grassroots sport.

“I have no doubt that hearing about these groups and individuals will help motivate and inspire others to enjoy sport and the many opportunities it offers.”

For more information about this year’s event, visit www.walessportawards.co.uk or follow #WSA2018

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2Uob5JAm10

 

North Wales organisation wins prestigious Wales Sport Award

A Gwynedd woman who lost 6 stone when she started climbing, has praised an award-winning charity for the part they played in her dramatic life change.

The Outdoor Partnership has been announced as Organisation of the Year at the Wales Sport Awards 2018. They help thousands of people use outdoor activity to improve their lives – including Gwenllian Dafydd, from Bethesda.

Gwenllian, 30, who started climbing sessions at the Indy Climbing Wales in Llanfairpwll on Anglesey last year explained: “I was at a crossroads in my life.

“I weighed more than I ever had, I was inactive and I felt really down.”

She went from a Size 20-22 to a Size 10 and now climbs, runs and has signed up to a skiing course.

She added: “My climbing instructor never made me feel like I wasn’t good enough or needed to change, but the sessions gave me the tools I needed to help me.”

Gwenllian realised how far she had come when she took part in her first outdoor climb. She recalled: “I sat at the top of the 300ft climb watching the sunset and realised I was living this life thanks to the Outdoor Partnership.

“It is something I would never have done before starting climbing with them.”

The Partnership has been recognised for their work in driving inclusivity in the outdoor sector. Their This Girl’s Adventure programme is just one of the initiatives going from strength to strength.

Tracey Evans CEO explained: “The work of the Partnership inspires local people to engage in outdoor activity for their health, wellbeing and confidence and helps provide new opportunities to change lives for the better.”

In the past year alone, the team has inspired over 16,000 people, by working closely with its 45-member clubs, partners and local employers.

The Organisation of the Year Award helps recognise success in encouraging people in Wales to participate in sport and physical activity.

Sarah Powell, CEO at Sport Wales said: “Yet again, we have a very high standard of community award winners who demonstrate the amazing work happening in grassroots sport.

“I have no doubt that hearing about these groups and individuals will help motivate and inspire others to enjoy sport and the many opportunities it offers.”
The Wales Sport Awards will take place at Celtic Manor on Tuesday 4 December.

For more information about the event, please go to www.walessportawards.co.uk or follow #WSA2018

 

Local coach runs away with national Wales Sport Award

Carmarthen coach Aled Jones-Davies has today been named Community Coach of the Year for his dedication to Taf Running and Orienteering Team (TROTs).

The award will be presented at the Wales Sport Awards 2018, celebrating the best of elite and grassroots sport in Wales at Celtic Manor on Tuesday 4 December.
Club member Yvonne Davies has praised the hard work of local ambassador Aled.

She nominated Aled on behalf of the club, for encouraging them and helping them improve their running.

She explained: “He has brought sport into the lives of many through his tireless work. I’m not the fastest runner, but Aled has always motivated me to train and race.”

Yvonne also thanks Aled for helping her daughter Ffion, who has cerebral palsy and epilepsy, find a passion for running.

She continued: “Ffion has been fully integrated into the junior group and Aled helps her do the activities like all the others, but just adapts some for her.
“She absolutely loves the club and cannot wait for Thursday nights.”

“His decision and hard work setting up the junior sessions and working with local schools shows his passion for the future of the sport.

“He is giving children opportunities otherwise not open to them.”

The Community Coach of the Year Award recognises the outstanding contribution of a coach in getting more people started, enjoying and succeeding within community sport.

Builder Aled has not only used his spare time to grow club membership but also to promote the sport to the wider community.

He re-introduced the Cilycwm fun run two years ago, something he loved taking part in as a child before it stopped.

The now-annual event helps to raise thousands of pounds for Llandovery Community Hospital and other local causes.

On top of all this, he helps marshal at the local Parkrun – including a Christmas Day special event.

Chris Davies, Direction of Parkrun Wales added his recognition for Aled: “It’s wonderful that he has received this accolade which not only recognises his dedication to coaching but also for volunteering his support for Parkrun.

“Without his help, and other volunteers like him, it simply couldn’t flourish as a major influence in a happier and healthier Wales.”

Sarah Powell, CEO at Sport Wales said: “Yet again, we have exceptional community award winners who demonstrate the amazing work happening in grassroots sport.

“I have no doubt that hearing about these groups and individuals will help motivate and inspire others to enjoy sport and the many opportunities it offers.”

For more information about the event, please go to www.walessportawards.co.uk or follow #WSA2018