Sarah Winckless Wins Surprise Award
From Sarah's Blog - December 2013 - This is a magical time of year, with Christmas parties and Sports Award events celebrating the year we've just had. I am now involved in a few awards, judging rather than competing. I am on the panel for the Sports Aid One-to-Watch award; I gave my input on the athletes that they were considering as a
Looking back there were many moments that should have had me suspicious, but I was literally oblivious to them all. Katherine Grainger made went great lengths to make sure I went to the awards. Andrew Longmore actually came to my house and picked me up to take me there. When I arrived I was told I was a VIP and I didn't need a wrist band, which seemed very strange – but at the time I just went with it. As I walked in they wanted to do photos (I explained this away as a case of mistaken identity I often get mistaken as Anna Watkins – tall, blonde), then a quick piece to camera (I put my Athletes' Commission hat and talked about the variety of talent and sports). Once in the building things seemed more normal and I had a great time catching up with friends and learning more about how their years had been. I managed have a great chat with Charlotte du Jardin who has had an incredible year, see the ever positive and impressive Tanni Grey-Thompson and to see Anna Watkins and have a cuddle with her son William, who is getting bigger and bigger and always seems so chilled. Also I must confess I had a couple of glasses of champagne, after all I wasn't driving and it was flowing almost as fast as the conversation.
As I went into the ceremony I was told to sit at the front, however I was pretty late in and I thought perhaps someone hadn't turned up and they didn't want an empty seat. It was next to Lloyd Cowan, Christine Ohuruogo's coach, who I was in the stands with as Christine won in
Luckily one of the last pictures I was aware of was of me making the divers ‘ok' sign, a day when we'd been mucking around with the photographers and a photo that has followed me around ever since. It was genius, it lightened the moment for me and as they announced my name my legs did as I asked and I was able to get up on stage and give Katherine a massive hug. I can't believe the time and effort she put into keeping this a secret and getting my family there.Hayley did a great job interviewing me, giving me time and space and I think my voice held together – I've not watched the video yet, however Imy has a copy and I know I won't get through the family Christmas without a viewing. The rest of the evening passed in a blur, with Sarah Springman receiving a lifetime achievement award and Christine lifting the Sportswomen of the year award. I was sitting stunned, humbled and amazed, trying to take in what had just happened to me.
Getting home that night it was the first time I was able to get onto Twitter, Facebook and Email and see how many people had watched, been part of the secret and were delighted for me. Despite the fact that I was getting up at 4.30 to drive to
I can't imagine there will ever be a night like that one again for me, of course I would rather my test for