WHEELCHAIR racer Kare Adenegan was named Young Sportswoman of the Year at the 11th annual Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire Sports Awards held at the Ricoh Arena.
Eight athletes in Coventry were presented with an award including 14-year-old Kare, who was inspired by the London 2012 Paralympic games to take up wheelchair racing.
She has had a fantastic year after winning the T34 100, 200, 400 and 800 metre races at the IPC Italian Grand Prix in June.
Kare was also the youngest member of the Great Britain team to compete at the IPC Athletics World Championships in Qatar, where she achieved two bronze medals in the T34 400 and 800 metre races.
“It was really tough not being able to do sport at school,” said Kare. “I lost a lot of confidence and a lot of self-esteem, but racing has definitely helped so much, and sport has given me my confidence back.
“I’ve just come back from the World Championships in Doha so receiving this award is the cherry on the cake.
“Just being up there with the international girls and senior girls was a very valuable experience to get me ready for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio.
“We have such a fantastic team in Coventry and I am learning from all of them, we are like one big family and it’s really good that we are all representing Great Britain and hopefully we will all get there for 2016.”
The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Bill Adocks who has been a member of Coventry’s oldest athletics club Godiva Harriers for the last 60 years.
He joined the club as an athlete in 1955 and counts holding the Athens course marathon record for 35 years as one of his highlights.
He said: “I am very surprised and honoured to have won the award. I just love the sport. I go down the club nowadays and see lots of lovely kids all trying their hardest to train and it is just a joy to see them doing the things that I remember doing.”
Other winners included Coventry University student and Senior British Karate Champion Jamaal Otto, who was named Higher Education Sportsperson of the Year, and University of Warwick graduate Shamira Naidu-Young, who was named Young Sports Volunteer of the Year.
Newcomer of the Year was awarded to rugby referee Paul Adderley who, at the age of 15, is the youngest member of Warwickshire Society of Referees, while Job King, a coach at the Wheelchair Racing Academy where Kare trains, was named Coach of the Year.
The UCAN project won Community Project of the Year, while Coventry Blaze Ice Hockey Club picked up Team of the Year.
A total of 16 award titles were handed out on the night recognising the achievements of both teams and individuals as well as volunteers and upcoming stars of the future.