Isn’t January supposed to be a time to calm down, tighten your belt and generally pay for your excesses over Christmas?
I wish it had been a quiet one for me, but I really haven’t had any time to pause for breath – a situation I’m sure many of you are familiar with.
The major reason why January was a bit of a beast for me (aside from the extra inches on the waistline) was my heavy involvement in the KLFM West Norfolk Sports Awards. Held at the Corn Exchange last week, they were, quite frankly, brilliant (and no I’m not just saying that because I hosted them).
I had the huge privilege of being live on stage in my dinner jacket at the Corn Exchange, playing host to some of the best sporting talent the region has to offer, but more important than that for me, I also had a large part to play in organising the event. Back in September we started asking for nominations for the awards, and the good people of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk did not disappoint. More nominations than ever before, in sports ranging from angling to wakeboarding.
Sifting through them and whittling them down to shortlisted nominees was by no means an easy job, and I take my hat off to the judging panel, made up of borough council dignitaries and members of the West Norfolk Sports Council.
Then, the epic effort of getting hold of some seriously busy people and telling them the good news. Who knew fishermen would be so hard to get hold of? Anyway, I got them on the line in the end. (I hate myself.)
Eventually, we got to Wednesday night, and as the night went on, I was progressively blown away by the extent of sporting talent on offer in our small part of the world. As I say, wakeboarding and angling were represented, but so were more mainstream sports, like running and swimming. It was an eye opener for me to see the amount of talent on offer. I think I always knew that West Norfolk had incredible sporting talent, but until you are confronted by it, face to face, you don’t actually pause to think about it.
To have athletes from West Norfolk genuinely knocking on the door of Team GB places for both the Olympics and Paralympics is incredible and a testament to the hard work of the athletes themselves, their coaches, and more often than not their parents. To display such amazing commitment and hard work is something we can all learn from, especially if we want to take the path towards being the best we can be.
Last word on the Sports Awards from me goes to the incredible Mick Wright. His achievements were detailed in last Friday’s edition of this paper, so I won’t list them here. But safe to say, he is a true sporting great – when he received his lifetime achievement award and was determined to walk up to collect it, rather than be pushed in his wheelchair, it made hairs stand on and eyes well up. An incredible character, the crowning moment of an incredible night.
Congratulations to all the athletes who were shortlisted and nominated, and thanks to everyone who made it such a special night.