Sports stars pay tribute to Pride of Sport 2017 winners

04 December 2017

Coach of the year award Maryam Ali

Unsung heroes honoured for helping others and overcoming adversity.

Famous faces from the world of sport came together to honour the winners of the Pride of Sport Awards 2017.

The ceremony, held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, in partnership with TSB, recognised the unsung heroes of grass-roots sport as well as those who, through sport, have triumphed over adversity.

Guests at the event included Jermain Defoe, Dame Kelly Holmes and Mark Foster.

Host Ben Shephard said: “Grass-roots sports bring people together and represent so many of the things we love about this country. We all start somewhere, whether that’s children taking up sport, or someone who hasn’t exercised for years taking their first steps towards getting fit, and these awards celebrate the amazing people who make that possible.”

The TSB Community Partner Award went to Streetsport, an organisation in Aberdeen that has transformed the lives of thousands of young people by allowing them instant access to playing areas.

Since it was set up, 16,000 people have participated in its sessions, which include street football, street tennis and street dance.

It’s been commended by youth organisations and the local police for helping to reduce crime and antisocial behaviour in the area.

The audience was moved to tears by ten-year-old Ella Chadwick, who overcame serious health problems and now helps to raise money for other sick children.

The brave youngster, who wants to be a “superhero” when she is older, was born with a rare kidney condition called congenital nephrotic syndrome. She had undergone 40 operations and years of dialysis by the time she was six.

Her life changed when her grandmother donated her kidney, which allowed Ella to become mobile.

She has completed the Mini Great Manchester Run to raise money for the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, which saved her life. She said she loves fundraising because it “makes the other little boys and girls happy”.

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