Sporting heroes nominated for Community Pride Awards
AN INSPIRATIONAL young man who has overcome health hurdles to become a boxing tutor, and the quiet hero behind a growing York sports club are up for recognition for their sporting efforts in The Press's Community Pride awards.
Bartek Szymczyk, 21, has cerebral palsy and until recently used a wheelchair, but has not let that stop him becoming a key part of the Community Spirit Boxing Club in Acomb.
Bart has been nominated for the Sporting Hero award by the club's coach and president Andrew "Rocky" Miller, who has seen Bart's inspirational progress since he joined the club around 18 months ago.
Rocky said: "When Bart first came he was always in his chair, but he has come on in leaps and bounds."
While Bart once relied on his wheelchair the exercise he gets at the boxing club has helped improve his mobility so much he can walk much more easily, and Rocky said he wanted to nominate Bart for the amazing progress he has made and the help he gives others.
"He's qualified as a boxing tutor, and his next goal is to become an amateur boxing coach.
"Bart also volunteers at Energise one day a week, where he also exercises and has learned to climb, and is working with me to set up boxing sessions for people with disabilities."
Meanwhile, another Sporting Hero nomination has come in for 36-year-old VX star Carl Alsop.
Carl, from Huntington, is the founder and coach of York's VX club and has overseen the club's rise to dominate the leagues.
VX was developed in North Yorkshire and can be played either by a team of ten or as a singles games. Carl has been nominated by the England team's head coach Paul Hildreth, from Newton-on-Ouse, who calls Carl one of his top players and the "epitome of the unsung volunteer".
Paul said 2014, which has seen Carl qualify for the singles game's World Cup in August, has been Carl's year.
He added: "Carl gets an immense amount done 'on the quiet' but the passion he displays when he coaches and when he leads is second to none. He totally and utterly enjoys VX and it is a joy to see."
The Community Pride awards are run by The Press with City of York Council, and are sponsored by Benenden Health.
To make a nomination write to Paula Homer, PA to the editor, The Press, 76-86 Walmgate, York YO1 9YN before Friday, July 18, with details including a supporting statement of no more than two sides of A4 with each nomination. You may also include a picture, which unfortunately we will be unable to return.
Or a nominations can be made online at thepress.co.uk/pride