In late September I was informed I had been shortlisted for the Wiltshire and Swindon Sports Personality award. I won the award in 2010, after I achieved a 5th, 7th (2x), 10th and =11th (2x) placings in the World Cup, but sadly couldn’t be present at the time as I was in Italy on a training/competition week. I didn’t expect to win the award 3 years ago, and it was a pleasant surprise when my parents informed me of the win.
So when the email dropped into my inbox saying I’d been shortlisted for this years awards, the first thing I did was Google my competitors. Four women were shortlisted: Katy Curd, GB 4x athlete, Laura Halford, GB/Welsh gymnast, Jemina Duxberry, GB Judo, and myself. When I read the list of each athletes achievements I thought it would be a long shot to win, but felt it was worth booking the flight back for the evening. Having missed the award ceremony 3 years ago, I wanted to go to this one. I’m so glad I did because the evening was amazing.
Starving from a day of travelling (and being robbed at the airport. £50 for a train ticket. Oh my god!) I first made a beeline for the buffe and chocolate pfitteroles … Once my stomach was happy I spent the time chatting to Sarum Orienteering club who were also shortlisted for a couple of awards. They later won the Sport Club of the Year. With four juniors having represented GB or England this year, and my European Gold, the club’s international performances have been particularly good this year.
The Sports Personality award was at the very end of the evening, but the ceremony really opened my eyes to how much sporting talent there is in Wiltshire. Not only in terms of athletes, but the dedication of coaches and volunteers, as well as the number of new disability sports clubs being set up in the last few years. There truly is a wealth and variety of talent in the county.
There was a great spread of sports across the evening. From swimming to athletics, disability basketball to cycling, judo to gymnastics. We were even given an inspirational (and emotional) presentation from Mark Colbourne, GB paralympic gold medalist cyclist. He had a motivational (and sad) story to tell, and I don’t think I was the only person in the room to be in tears at the end. What a guy. I don’t believe anyone left the ceremony without being motivated to achieve and live their dreams after the 20 minute presentation.
Finally it was time for the award I was shortlisted for. For some reason I was more nervous for this than before the start of WOC! Perhaps it’s the element of the unknown?
When my name was called as the winner, I couldn’t believe it! Firstly I was amazed I was the winner for the second time in 3 years, and secondly I just couldn’t believe it. Hans Jørgen decided to go to test ski’s in Torsby, Sweden so he missed the opportunity to dress up in his suit, but I was sad he couldn’t be there. Especially considering how supportive and motivational he has been this summer. Driving me all around Europe!
I had to fly back to Norway the next morning (early) but with a big smile on my face!
Thank you to everyone who has supported me this year. There are many sponsors and individuals who have helped enormously, and 2013 has been my most successful year as a result. So a big ‘Thank You’ to Craft, Ultrasport, Orifix, Havana Energy, G-Sport Brandbu, Hadeland OL, Wimborne Orienteers, South West Orienteering Association, Hans Jørgen Kvåle, my parents and the Kvåle family.