INSPIRATIONAL golfer Adam Dalton was crowned Sports Personality of the Year at the Jersey Sports Association for the Disabled Awards.
Dalton was born with a congenital limb deficiency – meaning his arms and one of his legs never fully formed – but he has refused to let that stop him from taking to the Island’s courses and he has developed a burgeoning reputation as one of Jersey’s elite golfers.
He won the Adult/Junior Stableford at the Royal Golf Club in November last year and in June claimed the Royal Jersey Doubles. He was also part of the Jersey Legends Tour in June, teaming up in the Pro Am with Gary Orr, a winner on the European Tour – and 2003 Rugby World Cup winner Kyran Bracken.
The awards ceremony, held at the Merton Hotel at the weekend, celebrated the best of disability sport in Jersey, and those who make it happen.
JSAD chair Paul Patterson described Dalton as a “very worthy winner of our main award”, citing his talents both as a golfer and as an ambassador for disability sport.
Patterson added: “It was a wonderful occasion, a true night of celebrating the abundance of local disability sports talent and determination to overcome many challenges that face some of our members.
“It was the first time we have awarded a junior award and when Charlie Davies was announced as the winner the audience really raised the roof.”
Footballer Davies has impaired vision and so, when he first started playing, needed constant support either from a coach or from his parents so he could move around the football pitch. His confidence has grown over the past year and his progress, particularly his shooting, earned him a spot in his school’s B-team.
Meanwhile, Mark Ray was crowned Coach of the Year at the ceremony. Ray established a junior arm of disability football and has created a very friendly, inclusive environment for all the youngsters who take part. He has a whole span of members, both male and female, and they are all encouraged to perform to the best of their abilities in a fun and enjoyable way.
Wheelchair basketball team Hot Wheels were crowned Team of the Year, while Ollie Wellum picked up two awards – winning the Sir James Knott trophy for his tenpin bowling prowess and Wheelchair Sportperson of the year for his skills on a basketball court.
The awards ceremony came at the end of a week in which JSAD also operated a wheelchair basketball schools outreach programme in which celebrity coach Gordon Perry made the journey to Jersey to help run the sessions and some 600 secondary school students were given the opportunity to experience the sport.
THE AWARD WINNERS
Heather Jones Memorial Trophy for the Learning Disability Footballer of the Year: Jacob Meyrick
Sir James Knott Trophy for the Learning Disability Tenpin Bowling Player of the Year: Ollie Wellum
Howard Walker Memorial Trophy for Unsung Hero: Ken and Sandra Wheatley (special gymnastics) and Alan Ronxin (wheelchair basketball)
Graeme Pitman Memorial Trophy for Endeavour: Darren Renouf (wheelchair basketball)
Cliff Batchelor Memorial Trophy for Learning Disability Sportsperson of the Year: Martin Boleat (table cricket/basketball/football)
Tim Collins Memorial Trophy for Wheelchair Sportsperson of the Year: Ollie Wellum (wheelchair basketball)
Chairman’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Disability Sport: Michael Truncheon (swimming)
JSAD Patrons’ Award for Coach of the Year: Mark Ray (football). Nominees: Gary Norman (football), Guy Gilson (wheelchair tennis), Jeannine Carey (learning disability sport), Paul Patterson (wheelchair basketball)
Vernon Tomes Memorial Team Trophy: Hot Wheels (wheelchair basketball). Nominees: Learning Disability football squad, Jersey Wheelers
JSAD Junior Sports Personality of the Year: Charlie Davies
JSAD Sports Personality of the Year: Adam Dalton (golf)