Disabled sport stalwart is honoured

BETTY Jeffery has been awarded an international award in recognition of her contribution to disability sports.

The chairman of Basildon Disabled Sports Club was appointed a Paul Harris Fellow by charitable organisation Rotary International.

Betty, who has polio, was presented with her certificate at the Rotary district conference and she admitted it was a shock.

“It was completely out of the blue and I was gobsmacked when they called my name out to collect the award,” said Betty.

“After I got the certificate, they gave me a standing ovation and I was really taken aback by it.”

Betty had been part of the Essex team which competed at the 2012 Rotary Disabled Sports Team Championships in November.

It was her 15th appearance at the event and she was the only member of the county’s team to have participated before as Essex had not entered a team since 1997.

The team finished midway in the county standings and Betty attended the district meeting with members of the Rotary Club of Hadleigh Castle, including president Jane Hopkins, who made the presentation to Betty.

Betty contracted polio when she was four but overcame her disabilities to take up air rifle shooting. She competed at European and world championship level in the sport.

She is also chairman of Basildon Disabled Sports Club, which is based at the Swan Mead Centre, in Church Road.

Betty has inspired disabled sports enthusiasts of all ages at the club for the past 28 years. Recent successes have included air rifle shooter Adam Fontain, who competed at the 2012 Paralympic Games.

The sports club boss has also supported the Rotary campaign to eradicate polio.

Paul Harris founded Rotary International in 1905. The recognition of Paul Harris Fellow is made to members of Rotary or individuals in the community for the exceptional contribution they have made or commitment they have shown to the service or charitable objectives of Rotary or to their local community.

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