Huge congratulations to Bob Nolan, Chairman of Deafblind Scotland, for winning the Unsung Hero 2018 award at the Deaf Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2018. His award was sponsored by InterpreterNow.
Here is the text of his speech from the night…
Just want to thank you for all your kind messages and support for last night’s Deaf Sports Personality of the Year Unsung Hero award. Whilst it was focused on this year’s Three Peaks Tandem Challenge I know it had a lot to do with all four challenges over the years and my time with Deafblind Scotland and DBUK. It was wonderful to be back at the home of Lancashire Cricket Club where I spent many happy days watching cricket with a packed lunch from my mum. It was also great for Louise and I to share the evening with some dear friends who have supported us so often. I want to thank Jackie and Richard at DSPY for organising last night’s event and Andy and the InterpreterNow team for sponsoring my award.
People ask why I do these things and the glib answer is I enjoy them! I like setting targets and stretching myself to beat them. I also do them to raise awareness of Deafblindness and money for our Field of Dreams project at DbS. I was so proud when HRH Princess Anne opened the building in October last year. However, I also do these challenges because they inspire me to do more and I hope, inspire others Deafblind or not, to do challenges of their own. What you get out of life is largely down to what you put in and I’ve been so fortunate over the years with my family and friends and some amazing adventures.
Now if I may, I’d like to add a bit more to what I said last night when I received my award and thank a lot of people. Firstly Abbie and Martin for accompanying us on our first ‘LEJOG’ tandem challenge in 2008 and for nominating me for the DSPY award. I’d like to think it was because they thought I deserved it but I wonder if it was also a thank you for not bullying them into doing any more challenges! Drena and Hammy for their support, encouragement and great company on all our challenges. Between us, we also saw some amazing scenery. Our son Josh for giving up his leaving school parties to cycle the Scottish Islands in 2011 and my godson Michael for accompanying us on our 2013 Scottish Cities ride. For the Three Peaks a massive thanks to Jerry and Fred who did all the cycling and who also completed their own 3 Peaks between them. As for the Three Peaks themselves, Judith, David, Gillian, Iain and Alison all helped Louise Jerry and Fred get me up and down safely. As well as the 3 Peaks Jerry and Judith also accompanied us on parts of our previous challenges on their yellow peril tandem. I’d also like to thank all my friends at Deafblind Scotland, DBUK, Shell and elsewhere for your generous support and sponsorship over the years.
The real unsung hero of course is Louise. She has done all the Challenges with me on the tandem including 1000’s of miles of training and she climbed all 3 Peaks this year, mostly following my tortuous progress from behind to ensure I didn’t stray from the path. She supports me in everything I do and her cooking is not bad either!
Lastly I want to remember Richard and Jane who supported our challenges so enthusiastically and Jane in particular for her brilliant blogs. Sadly, Richard succumbed to MND shortly after we completed LEJOG in 2008 and it’s hard to believe we lost our dear friend ten years ago now. I really miss him and as yesterday was also his birthday, I thought it was fitting to dedicate my award to his memory. Anyone who can come up with the immortal lyric “the prat on the tandem left his phone behind” surely deserves it.
Thanks again everyone, you’ve been great … Kilimanjaro here we come!