Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Special Needs Performance of the Year

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Special Needs Performance of the Year

Article excerpt

LUCY GARDENER - Winner

AFTER proving to be a winner on the water this year, Stockton paddler Lucy claimed a significant land-based prize by claiming the Evening Gazette Special Needs award.

The Tees kayaking queen was recognised in part for her achievement of bringing a national title back to the region.

Competing against her great rival Maggie Taylor in the National Paddleability Championships at the National Watersports Centre, near Nottingham, the gritty competitor pulled off a remarkable triumph.

Lucy, who trains at Castlegate Quay Watersports Centre, and is a member of the Tees Active Sports Academy, overcame her formidable opponent, who'd previously won the 1000m Women's K1 sprint title 11 times since 1993.

The 29-year-old - who only took up the sport three years ago - also had the added bonus of beating her personal best by eight seconds in an extremely tense race, completing the course in six minutes and eight seconds.

A delighted Lucy said: "Winning the title was fantastic but victory was made sweeter by beating Maggie who has dominated this event for such a long time.

"I really did not believe I could beat her over this distance."

Lucy also added to her 1000m title by winning the 200m and picking up silver in the 500m.

She then teamed up with Maggie and proceeded to take the doubles title in the 200m, 500m and 1000m races."

He proud mother Dot added: "We are very proud of Lucy she has never let her disabilities hold her back and she's honoured to win the Gazette award."

RICHARD YUILLE

ORMESBY School pupil Richard is excelling in not one but three disciplines.

He's shown terrific ability in the shot putt, discus and javelin.

The 15-year-old from Berwick Hills, in Middlesbrough, represented the North of England at this year's National Junior Championships at Blackpool and came away with two gold medals and a silver.

He won the shot putt and javelin events and was runner-up in the discus.

That performance earned Richard a place in the UK School Games in Coventry. …

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