Our Chairmen Vivienne Davies talks Awards

SportsAble is a unique organisation with a proud history that offers disabled people alongside their families and friends not just a sports facility but a  ‘home from home’ that is so incredibly important to help people strive for greater things in their lives.

We celebrate these ‘greater things’ each year at our Annual Awards Dinner, as we did this year on the evening of March 3rd. It was a wonderful evening that as always, made me feel exceptionally proud of this charity and of our members’ achievements.

For in order for our members to achieve they first have to overcome so much (pain, confidence issues, relearning skills etc.) and to do that takes strength, commitment and an enormous amount of courage.

One lady who shows enormous amounts of courage is Jackie Sprules, a 63-year-old woman who lost almost all of her eyesight to nerve damage but who has joined our sports club with such energy and a ‘can-do’ spirit that nothing stops her.

She has tried air weapons, archery, kayaking, ten pin bowling and kurling and with the love and support of her husband David and the friendship she has found here, Jackie can achieve in anything she sets her mind to. She and David have also became avid fundraisers and for this and for her sporting successes in air weapons and archery she won three awards for her efforts in 2017.

Another member who was applauded during the evening was – Ben Kuschel, who won the Outstanding Golfer Award and the Jot Trophy, awarded to the ‘newish’ member who has best helped themselves by their service to SportsAble throughout the year.

Ben came to us having been one of the 83% of the disabled population whose life path had been altered by an accident, in his case a serious car accident that has left him with a head injury. However, he, along with the support of his family, was determined to carve out a new life for himself and regular activity at SportsAble is part of that plan.

With a can do attitude SportsAble members believe that anything is possible when a community of like minded individuals and friends work together. Our philosophy is that there is no such word as can’t and whatever our members want to achieve, we will find a way to make it happen.

This last year, as we have continued to grow the sports that we offer, air weapons and swimming membership has continued to expand, the weekly kayaking and canoeing sessions (now in its second year) proved extremely popular, as did the introduction of a wheelchair dance section, which embraced ‘the strictly experience’ by entering and medalling in their first competition not that long after their section was formed.

The SportsAble Twirlers, as they are now called, embraced this new offering with such excitement and team spirit and they quickly learnt how to dance, do sequences, work together and put up the demands of what actually turned out to be quite an exercise class!

After a few months of lessons that really saw them bond and laugh together as a team they entered a national competition. This is why I awarded them my Chairman’s Trophy for team work as they showed such SportsAble spirit.

We are proud to have remained true to the spirit in which we started as this has shaped the club that we have become today and it’s been my absolute privilege and pleasure to have been able to say ‘thank you’ to each and everyone who has contributed to our success and to all whom make a difference. Our Annual Awards Dinner to celebrate the achievements of 2017 was magnificent and things are looking fantastic for 2018 and beyond.