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Paralympic pair hand over top award

SPURRED ON ... the Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Ernest Gibson, is given the Hotspur Award by Paralympians Stephen Miller, left, and Jarrows Josef Craig, back.

SPURRED ON ... the Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Ernest Gibson, is given the Hotspur Award by Paralympians Stephen Miller, left, and Jarrows Josef Craig, back.

TWo leading paralympic athletes have presented a top award to the Mayor of South Tyneside.

The borough’s golden boy, Josef Craig, and Cramlington’s Stephen Miller handed over the prestigious Hotspur Award to Coun Ernest Gibson, to be put on display at South Shields Town Hall.

The accolade, presented annually by heritage group the Northumbrian Association, was awarded to the North-East Paralympic team, as it was deemed to have worked with “bold endeavour to promote the region of Northumbria against the odds or expectations”.

The Hotspur Award, a solid silver spur, will be on public display in South Tyneside for the next six months.

Coun Gibson said: “It’s a privilege and an honour for South Tyneside to be chosen by the highly decorated North-East Paralympic team to display the Hotspur Award.

“People will be able to visit the town hall, which is steeped in its own impressive heritage, to see the silver spur; a symbolic emblem of great civic pride and honour.”

Josef, 16, of Jarrow, said: “South Tyneside has such a big place in my heart, and people here have supported me every step of the way through my sporting career.

“I can see no better place than South Tyneside to be a host for the Hotspur Award.

“The team and I felt the award should be shared among the people of the North East. Our achievements were as much about their heartfelt, love and encouragement as the sporting triumphs themselves.” Past recipients of the award have included Frank Atkinson for his work at Beamish Museum, Brendan Foster for founding and overseeing the Great North Run, Lee Hall for his drama The Pitman Painters, and organisations such as The Sage Gateshead and Teesside University.

Stephen Miller, one of the founders of Smile, a Gateshead-based project aimed at creating increased awareness of disability sport, said: “The North East has a long and fine history of producing some of the world’s elite sportsmen and women, and the North-East Paralympic team is proud of the Hotspur Award and what it represents.

“We always wear our hearts on our sleeves by giving 110 per cent for our country and region every time we compete.

“We hope the award will help to inspire people to not only achieve great things in sport, but also in their day-to-day lives.”

Twitter: @shieldsgazlisa

 
 
 

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