London 2012 stars honoured at reception

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A CELEBRATION of the Olympic and Paralympic achievements of Nottinghamshire athletes during the summer was held at the Trent Bridge cricket ground this week.

Among the special guests was disabled horse-rider Sophie Wells, who trains out of the Papplewick Equestrian Centre under coach Angela Weiss.

Sophie, of Newark, once had an allergy to horses but has now progressed to being one of the best dressage riders on the planet.

She came home from the London 2012 games with a gold and two silvers.

The 22-year-old was helped along her journey to becoming a medal-winner by the innovative Shining Stars scheme run by Notts County Council.

This provides special funding for athletes with huge potential.

At the ceremony, greater details were given of a £1.9 million funding package from the county council to help promote sport and find our Olympic and Paralympic stars of the future.

It will bolster the work of Shining Stars.

Sophie said: “The Shining Stars grant enabled me to do that little bit more to enhance my performance. In the past I have used it for extra training, an extra international competition, or a piece of equipment that I needed.

“Rather than spending it on everyday expenses I used to benefit on top of the normal. It definitely helped give me an edge going into the Paralympics in London.”

OUR PHOTO shows Sophie alongside fellow London 2012 medallists Ollie Hynd (left) and Sam Oldham