As the superhuman athletes of the Paralympic Games prepare to take centre stage in Rio over the next couple of weeks, time is running out to nominate sporting stars from across the West Midlands for a prestigious award of their own.

Deadlines are drawing closer for the individual West Midlands County Sports Partnership Awards, which recognise sporting talent, achievement and commitment across the region. Winners from each local award ceremony will be nominated to receive a ‘golden ticket’ into the West Midlands Community Sports Awards, held at Villa Park, where regional winners will be announced. Check with your local County Sports Partnership to see when nominations close in your local area.

One of the most prestigious categories is the Power of Sport Award, which recognises an individual who has made significant improvements to their life and a positive impact on others around them as a direct result of taking up sport or physical activity.

The award, supported by BBC local radio, is inspired by the likes of Lauren Rowles, from Bromsgrove, who will represent Great Britain at rowing in the Paralympic Games this year, less than a year after taking up the sport.

Lauren was named BBC Midlands Newcomer of the Year in 2013 after she was diagnosed with a rare paralysing condition, which developed overnight, but was determined to maintain an active lifestyle and started searching for para-sport opportunities after leaving hospital.

After initially becoming a para-athlete in the 1,500 metres, she eventually turned to rowing and is now set to go for gold in Rio in the trunk-arms mixed double scull.

Chris Child, chair of the WMCSA and director of Energize Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, said: “There is not long left to get your nominations in for the local County Sports Partnership awards, which recognise sportsmen and women of all abilities, groups, projects, coaches and volunteers from across the counties that make up the West Midlands.

“It is huge honour to be nominated in any category, not least because of the opportunity to go through to the West Midlands Community Sports Awards supported by BBC Midlands Today. However, the Power of Sport is a particularly special category because of the positive and empowering stories it represents.

“We want to recognise anybody who has been able to use the power of sport to make a difference to their own lives, for example, by significantly improving their health, increasing their confidence, or developing new life skills.  But we need your help to find these people.”

To nominate or to find out when your local awards close, follow this link and click on your local County Sports Partnership.

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