The winners of the 1st World Intellectual Impairment Sport Awards have been revealed in an exciting and emotional ceremony in Sheffield, Great Britain.
In a double sweep for Hong Kong, Ka Man Wong was voted Best Female Athlete whilst teammate Wai Lok Tang took the Best Male Athlete. Ka Man, table tennis, won gold in the 2012 Paralympic Games after winning the Women’s Singles Class 11 and then gold again in the 2014 Asian Para-Games held in Incheon, Korea whilst Wai Lok (17) is a talented swimmer who also competed at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. He took a further silver medal at the 2014 Asian Para Games taking the Asian Record of 200M Freestyle.
He has taken a number of gold medals in World Intellectual Impairment Sport competition and is ranked in the top 3 in both Asian and World competition.
In the Unsung Hero Category, Paul Burns MBE (UK) was the winner. Paul retired as GB Athletics Team Manager in 2014 after 12 years in the role – during which time he coached and managed many GB athletes to international success in World Intellectual Impairment Sport competition.
The final award category was the World Intellectual Impairment Sport Hall of Fame recognizing the lifetime achievement of an individual. In fact, World Intellectual Impairment Sport inducted 3 members – its former Presidents Bernard Atha CBE (UK), Jos Mulder (The Netherlands) and Dr Bob Price (UK) – in hour of their outstanding efforts to promote sport globally for athletes with an intellectual disability.
Amaury Russo, World Intellectual Impairment Sport President, congratulated all the finalists and winners “Sport for athletes with an intellectual disability does not enjoy the same media profile as other areas of para-sport so I am delighted that World Intellectual Impairment Sport has introduced these awards to honour and recognize the outstanding achievements of athletes and those who work behind the scenes”.
The Awards Ceremony coincided with the 2015 World Intellectual Impairment Sport General Assembly and was attended by member organizations and representatives from the Sheffield area, where the organization in registered.