On Saturday 11th December we celebrated the CP Sport Awards 2021 and 20th Anniversary of CP Sport.

American TV and film star RJ Mitte gave an inspirational opening speech talking about his own personal experiences of sport and expressing the importance of the work we do. RJ has cerebral palsy and is well known for his role in Breaking Bad and also for being on the presenting team of the 2016 Paralympic Games.

It was an exciting evening full of great stories, showing the resilience and determination of our community and how much joy there is in sport and being active. We were also joined by Paralympians including Esther Jones,  Leon Taylor, Stephen Miller MBE and Tully Kearney.

The 2021 Award winners:

Sporting Achievement of the Year: David Smith MBE

David is absolutely committed to the sport of boccia and is a champion for disabled people, who aims to inspire others. His gold medal was a highlight of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics and he was chosen to carry the British flag at the Closing Ceremony. He has won 3 golds, 1 silver and 1 bronze medal from four Games since 2008 and was Paralympic Champion in Rio and Tokyo. He is also World Champion and European Champion. 

Volunteer of the Year: Ellie Barton

Ellie is a children’s physiotherapist who set up the East London RaceRunning Club four years ago, which provides exercise and social opportunities for children who may find it difficult to access sports clubs. Ellie set up the organisation, secured funding to buy the RaceRunning frames, and worked with various partners to secure facilities, equipment, and more funding. Ellie has also shared her knowledge to train other parents as volunteers and coaches.  

Coach of the Year Award: Paul Rudkin

Paul coaches three times a week at Liverpool Harriers and has a dedicated  athletics development programme for children aged 9 to 12 and is the lead diversity coach and mentor for para athletes. In the last 12 months, he has become an international track and field official and coached Reece Day to become a double national champion.  

Sports Club of the year Award: Summertown Stars AFC (Summertown Warriors) 

Summertown Stars are a football club in Oxford who have recently  established disability football opportunities. Sarah Griffiths set up CP  Warriors within Summertown Stars AFC to provide accessible disability  football provision. The club offers ambulant and frame football  opportunities in the local community for young people with cerebral  palsy and associated impairments. The club are fantastic at encouraging participation within the community and have also created an environment which brings families together, and building friendships 

Christine Cruice Award for Overcoming Adversity: Daniel Onyett

Dan has epilepsy as well as cerebral palsy. In the past 12 months his epilepsy has been extremely difficult to control, at worst having more than 30 seizures per day. Despite that he’s continued to compete in athletics and learning disability rugby league. He has also taken up CP football and netball this year to improve his fitness. Dan also helps out with coaching when possible at York Frame Running Club and participates in any sporting opportunity. 

The Andrew Stubbs trophy: Tully Kearney

Tully’s outstanding achievements this year are gold and silver medals at the Tokyo Paralympic Games. Tully smashed the World Record to receive the first Paralympic Swimming Gold for Team GB in the Women’s 100m Freestyle and won silver in the 200m Freestyle. Tully’s resilience has been inspirational, whilst battling with a shoulder injury and the struggles of Covid-19 restrictions she continued to follow her dreams. Tully has also accepted the role of a CP Sport Ambassador and we couldn’t be prouder to have her on our team. 

Colin Rains Trophy for Endeavour: Rosie Porter

Rosie has been taking part in CP Sport events throughout the year including being a regular member of our virtual cafes where her confidence has grown. She took on the opportunity to interview Paralympian Esther Jones on Zoom for us, developing her skills even more. Rosie has stayed committed to staying fit throughout lockdown which paid off when she competed in the CP Sport National Athletics Championships in September winning 3 gold medals in 100m, 200m and the Javball event.  

Fundraiser of the Year Award: Ben Ibrahim

Ben decided to run the London Marathon this year alongside his Dad.  CP Sport means a lot to him and his family and they wanted to raise as much money as they could for a charity helping young people with cp join in with the sports they love.  Ben was pretty open about not loving running but felt the Marathon presented him a great challenge and was determined that his Dad would not beat him to the finish line!  In the end he completed the marathon in 4 hours 10 min and had a great time taking part. 

Partner of the Year award: Irwin Mitchell

Irwin Mitchell have sponsored CP Sport virtual events in 2021 including the online social cafes and the annual awards once again. However, their partnership spans much more than this and in 2021 Irwin Mitchell have provided support for resource materials and volunteer hours with their website specialists guiding CP Sport through building awareness campaigns.   

Lifetime Achievement Award: Stephen Miller MBE

At the 1996 Paralympic Games in Atlanta, Stephen became Great Britain’s youngest Paralympic or Olympic track and field competitor to win a gold medal. At just aged 16 he won the F50 club throw, with a distance of 25.84 metres  

He has gone on to represent Great Britain for 25 years, competing in 6 Paralympic Games, and numerous World and European Championships. Stephen has won 3 Paralympic titles and was honoured in the 2016 New Years Honours List by Her Majesty the Queen with an MBE. 

Stephen is the Founder of SMILE Through Sport – A Charity that’s aims are to inspire, educate and promote enjoyment of disability sport.   

Stephen has been a competitor at CP Sport events for many years and has provided support and expertise specifically in the development of our athletics programmes and delivery of events.  He has also played an important Ambassadorial role for the charity as well as being a role model and inspiration for many young people.