OLYMPIAN Sharron Davies MBE has been announced as guest speaker for the 2016 Herefordshire & Worcestershire Sports Awards.
Arising in an Olympic and Paralympic year, the 15th prestigious awards evening offers a prodigious celebration of sporting talent, contribution and achievement across the two counties.
This year Sports Partnership Herefordshire and Worcestershire is thrilled to welcome Davies to speak at the glittering ceremony on Wednesday, November 9 at Worcester Warriors’ Sixways Stadium.
Davies initially represented Great Britain at the extraordinary age of 11 before bursting on to the Olympic swimming scene at just 13 years of age.
It was, however, at 15 years of age that she stormed to the first of her many successes as she won gold in both the 200m and 400m individual medley events at the 1978 Commonwealth Games.
Continuing her astounding form, Davies went on to win silver in the 400m individual medley at the 1980 Moscow Olympics as she finished behind Petra Schneider, who later admitted to a heavy drugs influence over her performance.
As is often the case in young stars, Davies made the decision to take a break from performing and retired at the age of 18 in order to pursue a media career.
However, she could not resist the lure of the pool and returned in 1989 to promptly regain her national 200m title.
She then returned with silver and bronze medals after captaining the England team at the 1990 Commonwealth Games.
Sports Partnership chief executive Stephen Brewster said: “We feel Sharron’s involvement at the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Sports Awards 2016 is key to encouraging, supporting and inspiring current and future athletes and others involved in sport.
“This event is our chance to honour our local sports men and women, coaches, volunteers, clubs and officials and to be able to invite them to an evening with someone of Sharron’s sporting calibre is a real privilege.”
Davies, who by the time she hung up her swimsuit for good in 1994 had been a British champion on 20 occasions and had broken 200 British swimming records and five World Masters records, is now a key member of BBC Television’s commentating and presenting team.
Twice voted British Press Sportswoman of the Year, she now finds herself a mother of three with broad interests and hobbies with a particular focus on charity work, including her very own annual Swim for Life event involving 2,000 swimming pools nationwide.
The former star of TV programme Gladiators identifies the importance of talent recognition and support at the vital stages in a young person’s sporting journey.
Davies said: “I am delighted to be attending the awards. These local events are vital in highlighting how important sport and physical activity is in every community and recognising those people who dedicate huge amount of time and resource to allow people to access sport at all levels.
“I am proud to hopefully be able to inspire just a handful of them on the evening.”
Nominations are now open so, if you know of someone who you feel deserves recognition for their sporting achievement or their dedication to sport within their community, make sure you nominate them at www.sportspartnershiphw.co.uk/sportsawards. Nominations close on Sunday, September 25 at midnight.
There are also opportunities for businesses and organisations to sponsor the awards, either as individual award category sponsors or other sponsorship packages. The headline sponsor opportunity is still available and offers a great opportunity to showcase your business and reach potential customers. For more details visit the website or e-mail Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org.