WITH the Olympics in full swing and less than a month to go until the Paralympic Games, excitement continues to gather as we prepare to celebrate our local stars at the 2016 Herefordshire and Worcestershire Sports Awards.
Worcestershire has had strong representation in Rio and the efforts of these sportsmen and women will form part of the celebrations at the glitzy awards evening at Sixways on Wednesday, November 9.
Kidderminster’s Naomi Folkard reached the quarter-finals in the women’s individual archery competition at her fourth Olympics.
She claimed a silver medal at the European Archery Championship and is the reigning World Games Champion in field archery.
Folkard was selected for Team GB following her exceptional performance at the third stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup in Antalya, Turkey, where she finished second overall.
Bewdley’s Alison Young has again been putting her sailing skills to the test.
After placing fifth in the London 2012 Games, Young has been in action in her second Olympics and won Tuesday’s Medal Race to finish eighth overall in the Laser Radial competition.
She claimed first place in the Laser Radial World Championships in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico, in April, beating her opponent by one point. She also won the ISAF Sailing World Cup 2014 in Melbourne.
History was made as the GB Women’s Rugby 7s competed in the Rio Olympics.
Alice Richardson, from Bewdley, formed part of Team GB’s first ever Women’s Rugby 7s squad in Rio as they finished fourth, losing 33-10 to Canada in the bronze medal match.
She has been a World Cup regular for England including finishing runners-up in 2010, was a Premiership winner between 2009 and 2012 and a European champion in 2012.
Helping to kick off the Paralympic Games in September will be the swimming events featuring Hereford’s six-time Paralympic champion Sascha Kindred OBE.
With a career spanning two decades and featuring five Paralympic Games, he is a previous winner of the headline Herefordshire and Worcestershire Sports Personality of the Year award.
He has won more than 350 medals, broken 20 British records, two European records and many world records.
Herefordshire and Worcestershire Sports Personality of the Year award 2015 nominee Claire Cashmore will also compete in the swimming events at the Paralympics.
A double Paralympic silver medallist, she also claimed a bronze medal at the London 2012 Games as well as claiming the European Championship title in 2014.
Redditch-born Cashmore made her Paralympic debut in Athens in 2004 at the age of just 16, picking up two bronze medals.
Worcester Swimming Club’s Rebecca Redfern, of Droitwich, will make her first appearance on the Paralympic stage.
At just 16 years old, she smashed the European record in her bid to qualify for Rio and will be in action in the 100m breaststroke SB13.
Rio de Janeiro has certainly been the setting for a celebration of sport, but the Sports Partnership Herefordshire and Worcestershire is keen to recognise local contribution.
Nominations for the Sports Awards are still open so, if you know of anyone making their sporting contribution either through volunteering, sporting achievement, coaching, community projects or using sport to change their lives, please let the organisers know.
For nomination details, visit www.sportspartnershiphw.co.uk/sportsawards.