Stockport Harriers Wheelchair Racing at Stockport Sports Awards

Report: Jane O'Hara -

It was great night for the Stockport Wheelchair Racing squad at the Stockport Sports Awards on Friday 27 September. Rick Hoskins was voted Coach of the Year, an award previously won by fellow Stockport Harriers coach Julie Fairclough in 2012. Dan Bramall was runner up in the Disabled Sports Achiever of the Year category. Dan is one of the squad’s shining stars and is currently UK number 2 in his class.

Rick’s award was presented by Natasha Jonas, the first ever female British boxer to qualify for the Olympics. He will now go forward to the Greater Manchester Sports Awards on 8 November.

Rick was inspired to become a coach by his friend Chris Hallam, the Paralympic champion and coach who sadly passed away in August this year. Rick has coached with many of the UK’s leading wheelchair racing athletes and a highlight of his coaching career has been working with the GB Paralympic team and travelling to the 2004 Athens Olympics. He has also coached many young athletes from their very first push to racing success. The Stockport Wheelchair Racing squad was set up four years ago and now has ten members, including Commonwealth and Paralympic hopefuls.

Some of the squad hope to attend the prestigious Swiss Nationals next year and are on the lookout for sponsorship to help them meet the costs of equipment and travel. Unfortunately the squad couldn’t quite raise the £5,000 needed last year to achieve charity status (which has financial benefits in terms of Gift Aid, etc), so they hope to reach that goal this year. If you know of any companies who might be interested in sponsoring the squad and helping our shining stars achieve their international ambitions, please email Rick at hrrjosk40ten [at] aol [dot] com.

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