Two inspirational Shropshire women have been crowned champions at the 2017 West Midlands Community Sports Awards.
Rachael Swinnerton, who started the Cheerforce Ten cheerleading academy in Telford from scratch six years ago, won the Inspirational Activity Leader award.
And Kathryn Stanworth, who has shed a life-changing 146lbs to become a boxing champion through the Bright Star Academy near Shifnal, came home with the Power of Sport Award.
They were among six Shropshire representatives at this year’s regional finals, held last night (Dec 7) at the University of Birmingham Sport.
Teenage Telford football star Sadie Craig, who made her debut aged 14 for Northern Ireland, was a finalist in the Aspiring Talent category, and Kieran Edwards from Wrekin Riders BMX Club was shortlisted in the Unsung Hero category.
The other two Shropshire representatives were Elite Dance Studios of Shrewsbury in the Actively Changing Lives category for activity providers, and Breaking Chains Cycling Club for Small Project of the Year.
Rachael was ill on the night, so her award was collected on her behalf by her partner, Jonathan Smart.
All of Shropshire’s finalists secured their ‘golden ticket’ to the event by winning their category at the Energize Awards in Telford last month.
Chris Child, chief executive of Energize Shropshire Telford & Wrekin who chairs the regional awards organising committee, praised the ‘hard work and selfless dedication’ of all the finalists.
He said: “It’s not just the winners and runners up who we celebrate. We salute all those who have been nominated, together with the wider community; a significant proportion of which is voluntary. Without them, a number of opportunities to take part in activity wouldn’t take place.”