2018 Disabled Sports Personality of the Year Richard Chiassaro with Cllr Aldridge

Nominations are now open for the Active Essex Sports Awards 2018, an annual event that celebrates the outstanding achievements of sporting organisations and individuals.

The event recognises local sporting heroes from grassroots to an elite level, and following last year’s great response, public votes have returned for three of the 11 awards – including the ‘Disabled Sports Personality of the Year’ category.

The award celebrates athletes who have made a significant impact in the last year at a national or international level, either individually or as part of a team. The award is open to all ages and disabilities.

Last year, the award was won by Harlow-based Paralympic athlete Richard Chiassaro, who started wheelchair racing in 2009 and represented Team GB in Rio 2016 in the T54 100m, 400m, 800m and 4x400m relay.

Richard said: “It was a fantastic honour to receive the Disabled Sports Personality of the Year award last year. The ceremony was an inspirational night and gave me a big platform to thank everyone who has supported me over the last decade.

“I urge everyone to think of someone who has gone the extra mile in disability sport at national or international level and vote for them now to give them the recognition they truly deserve.”

Meanwhile, the Services to Inclusive Sport award is for an individual or organisation that has made a significant contribution in the last year to advancing sport and physical activity for people with disabilities.

In addition, the other two categories to be decided by public vote are the Sports Personality of the Year and Unsung Hero awards. The ceremony takes place at Chelmsford City Racecourse on December 5.

Azeem Akhtar, Chair of Active Essex, said: “The annual sports awards highlight those who are making outstanding contributions to inclusive sport and physical activity across the county and are inspiring others to get active. We’d like to see as many nominations as possible this year.”

Olympic champion Max Whitlock, of South Essex Gymnastics Club, will present the Young Sports Personality of the Year award at this year’s ceremony.

Nominations can be made via https://www.activeessex.org/sports-awards-2018 before 21st October 2018.