NEIL Hudgell admits he was humbled to be handed a special award in recognition of his continued support towards disabled sport at the first ever Hull and East Riding Disability Sports Awards.
Through the Neil Hudgell Solicitors Trust, the Hull-based solicitor has overseen donations of more than £80,000 towards community projects across Yorkshire over the past two years.
Groups which help bring communities together either by supporting the elderly, raising educational achievement or through grass roots sport are commonly among those selected for financial support.
But the Trust has also done more than most in terms of supporting disabled sports across the region, something event organiser Daryl Jones, of Wheelchair Sport Hull, felt should not pass without being recognised.
“I established the Wheelchair Sport Hull charity a year or so ago as I found most clubs and organisations involved in disability sport often found it a struggle to get the financial support they need, particularly in the form of donations from sponsors and businesses,” he said.
“From day one we have had wonderful support from Neil. He has been with us all the way, and has shown he is willing to support people financially. We wanted to show our gratitude for that support and that is why he was chosen for our special award for services to disability.”
A donation from the Trust of £1,000 helped the East Riding Electric Eels Powerchair Football Team become established last year. They have recently started their new season in the North East League with two wins from two.
Earlier this month, Mr Hudgell donated £1,600 to help east Hull swimmer Natalie Moon, 18, compete in this year’s European Disability Swimming Championships in Antwerp, covering her travel, training and accommodation costs.
Sponsorship was also provided direct from his professional negligence and personal injury solicitors firm to help organiser Mr Jones, himself a wheelchair basketball and rugby player, get the first ever Hull and East Riding Disability Sports Awards off the ground.
“Through the Trust we have been fortunate to meet many inspirational figures, none more so than those who participate and organise disability sport events,” said Mr Hudgell.
“It was wonderful and very humbling to be recognised for the support we have given to clubs and individuals, especially on a night when we were surrounded by so many inspiring stories of determination and success.”
“It is people like the Electric Eels, Natalie, and Daryl who deserve success and praise for their outstanding achievements.”
Winners on the night were :
- Lifetime Achievement Award – Mike Swainger
- Club of the year – Hull Stingers in Motion
- Player of the year – Matt Clarkson
- New player award – Luke Brennan
- Young player of the year – Kizzy Blue Wade
- Coach of the year – Chris Wilson
- Female player of the year – Victoria Rumary
- Unsung hero – Matt Burke
- Best trustee of the year- Ian Crichton