Get voting: Who is your Sports Personality of the Year? - The Evesham Observer

Get voting: Who is your Sports Personality of the Year?

Evesham Editorial 18th Oct, 2016 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016   0

SPORT made the headlines this summer as Team GB and Paralympics GB put on a sterling performance in Rio with gold medals galore, world records and personal bests.

The Sports Partnership Herefordshire and Worcestershire will be saluting our own heroes from the two counties in the annual Sports Awards, with an array of talent and contributions across all 14 award categories.

This week we profile the six nominees for the headline Herefordshire & Worcestershire Sports Personality of the Year award, sponsored by Bullivant Media, publisher of the Observer.

The winner will be decided by public vote and readers can vote for their favourite by visiting www.sportspartnershiphw.co.uk/vote-for-spoty-2016 and clicking on their choice.




The awards ceremony, attended by more than 250 amateur and professional sports people, businesses and dignitaries, will take place on Wednesday, November 9 at Sixways Stadium in Worcester.

Olympic and Commonwealth Games medallist Sharron Davies MBE will be the guest speaker at the ceremony. The swimmer and TV presenter won silver in the 1980 Moscow Olympics and took Commonwealth medals in Edmonton 1978 and Auckland 1990.


For tickets and further information, contact Sarah Mackay on [email protected].

Claire Cashmore

FOLLOWING the London 2012 Paralympics, Redditch-born Claire Cashmore was unsure of her future in swimming as she felt the physical demands of the sport.

However, her determination and perseverance meant she qualified for the Rio 2016 games.

Rio was the highlight of Claire’s 2016 success as she won gold in the 4x100m medley relay and silver in the 100m breaststroke SB8.

Not only did Claire medal in these two events, but she also qualified for the final of the 100m butterfly SM9 in which she finished fifth.

She also came eighth in the 200m individual medley SM9 and formed part of the freestyle team which came fourth.

However, Claire’s success stretched beyond the Rio Paralympic Games, as the IPC European Championships in Funchal, Madeira, were also a great success. Claire, now based in Kidderminster, claimed gold in the 100m team relay along with two bronze medals in the 100m breaststroke SB8 and 100m butterfly SB9 category.

Tom Fell

WORCESTERSHIRE CCC star Tom Fell has shown courage and bravery way beyond what will be seen on a sporting field as he overcame two bouts of cancer to return to the Pears team in 2016.

Tom needed surgery after being diagnosed with testicular cancer before later discovering the disease in his lymph nodes.

After nearly ten months out of action including the curtailment of a winter’s cricket in Australia, Tom wasted no time in reminding everyone of his talent as he made 61 on his return to the Pears side against Leicestershire in July.

Less than a month later, Tom scored a sparkling hundred against Lancashire in a crucial win which helped his side reach the last eight of the Royal London One-Day Cup.

Tom had been the county’s leading run-scorer in 2015 as he averaged 41.69 and was the youngest batsman in the country to pass 1,000 runs for the campaign before developing cancer.

Tom is an immensely popular player in the New Road dressing room, which was evidenced when his team-mate and fellow batsman Tom Kohler-Cadmore had his head shaved in support of his great friend and to raise thousands of pounds for Cancer Research.

Alex Gregory MBE

IT HAS been a stunning year for two-time Olympic gold medallist and five-time world champion Alex Gregory MBE.

Just as he had been at London 2012, Alex was crowned Olympic champion with the Great Britain men’s coxless four in Rio.

In 2015, Alex was part of the men’s eight which secured World Championship gold for Team GB and European silver. The former Evesham Rowing Club star, who lives in Wormington near Broadway, is also patron of the British Exploring Youth Charity, a personal development charity with the aim of inspiring the next generation of young explorers.

Alex’s interest in the charity stems from his previous involvement in one of the expeditions. The charity provided many opportunities for Alex, along with skills and experiences that ‘helped him on his pathway in life’.

Sascha Kindred OBE

AS ONE of the most successful British Para-swimmers of all time, there has been no let-up in the magnificent achievements of Hereford’s Sascha Kindred OBE who continued his glittering career in the past 12 months.

Sascha attended and medalled at yet another World Championships in Glasgow in 2015, retaining his world title in the 200m individual medley S6 as well as taking the 50m butterfly bronze.

In addition, three finals and a silver in 2015 at the British Para-Swimming International Meet secured Sascha’s place for his sixth consecutive Paralympic Games in Rio.

Rio 2016 was an emotional roller-coaster. After claiming the bronze medal in the 50m butterfly, Sascha’s strength and experience as an athlete was tested.

After his disqualification appeal following the heats, Sascha was reinstated into the final of the SM6 200m individual medley. He was determined not to let the incorrect disqualification affect his performance and he touched for the finish in a new world record time to claim his 13th Paralympic gold medal.

Lauren Rowles

LAUREN Rowles has enjoyed a 2016 to savour, culminating in being crowned a Paralympic rowing champion at the Rio 2016 Games just a year after taking up the sport.

The former wheelchair athlete first tried rowing in early 2015 after a chance meeting with GB Rowing Team staff at Stoke Mandeville Sports Centre.

Remarkably, by the end of the season she had helped to qualify the trunk-arms mixed double scull boat for the Paralympic Games and went on to win a glorious gold with Laurence Whiteley in Brazil.

Lauren’s A-Level studies had restricted the duo to just one international appearance in 2016 before Rio but they won bronze and silver medals at the Gavirate International Regatta in Italy.

The hard work that Bromsgrove’s Lauren and Laurence put into training was clear to see on the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon in Rio as they set a new world best time in their heat before storming to victory in the final to be crowned Paralympic champions.

The duo first teamed up during a remarkable debut at the 2015 World Championships in Aiguebelette, France. They only began training together in the summer after Lauren made the transition from athletics at the end of a year-long search by the GB Rowing Team para-rowing coaches for a trunk-arms mixed double scull partner for Laurence.

Despite their brief time together, Lauren and Laurence became the first GB crew to qualify for Rio 2016 as they won their repechage. They then went on to produce a fantastic performance in the final, winning silver as they finished just half a second behind Australia.

In February 2012 Lauren lost the use of her legs when she was diagnosed with a rare paralysing condition that developed overnight.

However, she was determined to maintain an active lifestyle and, after leaving hospital in that July, started searching for a para-sport.

She became a wheelchair track athlete and competed for England at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games before turning to rowing.

Cooper Vuna

EXPLOSIVE Worcester Warriors winger Cooper Vuna burst on to the scene in his first year in the Aviva Premiership last season, amassing an impressive nine tries to make him the club’s top try-scorer.

The talented player quickly became a favourite among Sixways fans as he stormed his way to 45 points, helping Warriors to cement their Premiership status.

The New Zealand-born star is already off the mark this Premiership campaign, having scored an impressive try against rivals Gloucester in September.

In a total of 34 appearances for the club, Cooper has crossed the whitewash 18 times to bring his points tally to a superb 90.

The exciting winger was also recognised in the 2015/16 season-ending statistics, impressing in offloads, defenders beaten and breaks.

The agile back moved to Sixways from Japanese side Toshiba Brave Lupus in March 2015 and carries a wealth of experience in Super Rugby after spending three years at Melbourne Rebels, where he proved to be one of the competition’s most dynamic ball-carriers and became the club’s all-time top try-scorer with 13 tries.

Cooper has also enjoyed a successful career in rugby league in which he enjoyed spells with New Zealand Warriors and Newcastle Knights, which coincided with an international rugby league call-up for Tonga.

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