13th Dec, 2018

Top sports talent in line for recognition

Rob George 23rd Nov, 2018

YOUNG sporting talent from across Worcester and Malvern are among the nominations for this year’s West Midlands Community Sports Awards at the University of Birmingham Sport.

Organised by the six county Sports Partnerships across the West Midlands including Sports Partnership Herefordshire and Worcestershire, together with University of Birmingham Sport and BBC Midlands, the star-studded event celebrates the tireless work local people carry out to enable communities to engage in sport and physical activity.

Among those nominated are a number of projects and individuals from across the Herefordshire and Worcestershire region.

Worcester Mixed Ability Rugby Club has been highlighted for their innovative approach to rugby. Regardless of their background or previous experiences, players are empowered to improve their ability – physically, socially and mentally.

With success measured in terms of playing style and communication, the club has brought a new approach to rugby and has welcomed more than 50 new players in to the club this year. A fifth-placed finish at the 2017 Mixed Ability World Cup saw them ranked as the best English side at the tournament.

Malvern Hills Community Sports Awards winner Danielle Miles-Ranger is among those shortlisted in the Community Coach of the Year category.

During her time at university, Danielle, who had no previous links to the Leigh and Bransford Badgers Football Club, worked tirelessly to establish a girls’ development squad, increasing participation from nought to 20 members in just six months.

Previous Herefordshire and Worcestershire award winner Matt Richards has been named on the shortlist for the aspiring talent accolade.After an incredible season, the young swimmer from Worcester was crowned British champion in seven events, more than any other male swimmer his age.

He smashed British records in five events, the junior record in the 100m freestyle, along with eight Welsh junior records, more than any other male swimmer including a number of former Olympians.

A project to get taxi drivers in Worcester into the fresh air and taking part in cricket has also been shortlisted for the Community Project of the Year prize.

The Worcester Taxi Super League, the first of its kind, has attracted more than 100 drivers and their families aged 14 to 55 and saw its first knockout final held at New Road.

Lewis Higgs from Worcester has been shortlisted in the Power of Sport award category.

Leaving school with few qualifications and engaging in anti-social behaviour, Lewis found support within his local youth centre

He began helping with football sessions as a young leader and soon became a volunteer and progressed to paid summertime work.

Chris Child, chairman of the organising committee, said: “We know the impact an active lifestyle can have in improving lives and we hope these awards go some way to recognising local people for their hard work, but also for the ways that they are making a difference to the physical and mental wellbeing of their local communities.”

Visit www.westmidlandscommunitysportsawards.co.uk for more on the awards, which will take place in Birmingham on Thursday, December 6.

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