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Toasting the success of our Welsh Paralympians

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Wasn’t it great to see so many of our Paralympians acknowledged in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list? There’s no doubt that London 2012 has really put the Paralympics on the map and now a number of ‘personalities’ have emerged.

Here in Wales we paid our own tribute to our Welsh athletes as Disability Sport Wales organised an evening of celebrations just before Christmas in Cardiff. I was fortunate enough to host the dinner and looking around the room, as I took my place at the lectern, the view before me could only be described as a who’s who of sporting talent, past, present and future.

After the starter, it was time to reflect on the legacy of the Paralympics and I spoke to Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, John Harris and Jim Munckley. Once the main course was served, I interviewed some of our top Coaches and then it was the turn of our Welsh athletes after dessert. The atmosphere was fantastic, the banter was entertaining and everybody enjoyed themselves. And so it was fitting that the night ended with a presentation – every Welsh Paralympian was given a framed photo of themselves in action in London. And with the presentation over, our athletes received a standing ovation.

Forget the finale of the X-factor, that night in Cardiff was a feel-good factor and a fitting tribute to Wales’ success and achievements in 2012.

Sam Lloyd

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