Sporting Excellence Award Finalists 2023

An award to honour a person that has overcome challenges in pursuit of sporting excellence, demonstrating outstanding achievement in the field of sport and contributing to the endeavours and advancement of the Armed Forces community.

In partnership with Amazon.

The winner of this award category is decided by public vote. Scroll to the bottom of the page to cast your vote!

Vote closes 23:59 on 6th August 2023.

Introducing the Finalists...

Glyn Barrell

It’s fair to say that 55-year-old Glyn Owen Barrell has endured a lot of challenges in his life. He is a right through-knee amputee, has two collapsed vertebrae, and damaged lungs which make him permanently reliant on oxygen. Additionally, he suffers from PTSD and has a non-malignant tumour on his brain. He was medically discharged from the 40th Regiment Royal Artillery after 12 years because of his injuries, but refuses to let his limitations restrict his options and adventures.

Glyn was introduced to the Purple Warriors charity Dragon Boat club when it was established in 2016. The club’s members are all serving or former HM Forces personnel who have some form of impairment.

Inspired by the challenges they have overcome, some of the best dragon boaters in the country have joined together to help the team achieve even more. Glyn was in a very dark place mentally at this point in his life and felt worthless and lost. He attests that the Dragon Boat experience saved his life.

Glyn has also achieved huge success; he was selected to represent Team GB ‘Grand Dragons’, the only disabled person in the boat and competing against able bodied paddlers and, in 2022, Glyn was crowned World Champion in outrigging.

Through his time with the team and with the help of the charity, he has felt alive again and hasn’t looked back. That’s not to say he never feels down, but he knows where he can get the help to bounce back, sport being his main passion now.

Sgt Jade Ives

Sgt Jade Ives is an Army Medic and is currently responsible for training of new Combat Medical Technicians. Not only is she an instructor and mentor, but she looks after the welfare and pastoral issues of her students whilst they are on the course. In the last year she has been the stand-out instructor on this course and the students rate her highly.

On top of this professionalism and dedication, Jade spends a significant amount of time with the Army Medical Services Ladies Football team. It is unsurprising that she is extremely fit and a fantastic player, but what most people probably don’t realise is the struggle she has endured in order to get back to playing for the team, caused by a severe back injury. The nature of her injury meant she was told it was unlikely she’d ever return to fitness, let alone play sport, but due to her perseverance and determination Jade has defied the odds and is back to playing the sport she loves.

However, she not only plays on the Army Medical Services Ladies Football team, but has been the focal point for all of the team administration, acting in manager, secretary, and coordinator roles. Her injury has not defined her but shown how strong she is, both physically and mentally. Her passion for sport is truly inspiring – this is a woman you want on your team.

Scott Meenagh

Scott Meenagh played Rugby Union for Scotland under-18s and was widely tipped for a successful professional career. However, he joined the Parachute Regiment and was deployed to Afghanistan. In 2011 he lost both of his legs after stepping on an improvised explosive device in Helmand Province. One of his best friends, Martin Bell, was also blown up and killed as he and colleagues carried Scott from the minefield.

A lesser person might have struggled to cope with such catastrophic injury and the loss of so great a friend, as well as a promising career in the Parachute Regiment or in the sport he loved. But Scott decided that he had to make the most of his life to honour the courage of those who saved him and most importantly for his friend Martin. He decided to live for two lives.

Scott was inspired to try Para Nordic skiing after getting a taste of winter sport during Sochi 2014, which he experienced as part of the Paralympic Inspiration Programme. He came second in the 12.5km individual biathlon event at the 2023 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships, and competed at the 2018 and 2022 Winter Paralympics.

Scott gives 100% in every aspect of his life – his courage, endurance, and humanity are beyond measure.

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Sporting Excellence Award

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