A woman who was inspired by the teamwork of players in the “Blind Ashes” and who went on to help visually-impaired people play sport has been honoured for her work.
Anne Holloway was taken aback by the skill and camaraderie of the teams taking part in the visually-impaired version of The Ashes in Leamington – where England lost in 2012 to the Australians, emulating the traditional game.
Anne, of Church Lane, Cubbington, said: “It was amazing to watch and see how they looked after each other and I’ve been a fan since, watching the Warwickshire team who play at Leamington Cricket Club.”
That led her to voluntary work for Leamington-based British Blind Sport (BBS) and for that she was invited to the Torch Trophy Trust awards on Tuesday in London, where she was presented with her honour by the Countess of Wessex.
Anne, aged 62, who retired in 2012 after 28 years of teaching at Milverton Primary, and was nominated for the honour by the BBS, said: “I was amazed and feel really humbled. The people that were there were more deserving.”
Part of the BBS citation read: “Anne’s hardworking and dedicated nature rubs off on all who come across her. She always comes to work with a smile on her face, a positive ‘can-do’ attitude and lends a hand to whatever is needed.”
Anne’s work has included assisting with setting up sporting events, a safeguarding programme, training for the volunteer network and an education programme.
She said: “I find it very stimulating and I really love it.”
At the awards she met Sir Bobby Charlton, president of the Torch Trophy Trust, who insisted that Anne’s husband Fred be included in a picture of Anne with the football legend. “He was really lovely and the Countess of Wessex was very gracious,” said Anne. “She spent time afterwards coming around to every little group.”