AN inspirational Thatcham woman has narrowly missed out on being named a European hero.
The founder and head coach of the Thames Valley Kings, Jacqueline Scoins-Cass, was highly commended in the Hero of the Year category of the 2017 European Diversity Awards held in the Hintze Hall of the National History Museum in London.
She missed out on the grand prize, which was awarded to the MP for Tottenham, David Lammy, for his support for the victims of the Grenfell tower disaster.
Despite missing out, Mrs Scoins-Cass said she was honoured to be recognised for her work.
She said: “It was an amazing night at the Natural History Museum. To be highly commended for the award of European Diversity Awards Coca-Cola Hero of the Year was very special.
“I didn’t expect to win as the group had so many heroes shortlisted.
“It was great to be recognised for my volunteering to the sport of wheelchair basketball in a non-sports based award scheme.”
Since its establishment in 2004, the Thatcham-based Wheelchair Basketball Club has endeavoured to provide a high-quality wheelchair basketball programme that is accessible to players of all ages and abilities.
The club, which plays its home games at Kennet School, strives to support, inspire and become a social hub for everyone – believing that by actively encouraging both disabled and able-bodied players, the club can create a fun and engaging atmosphere.
Mrs Scoins-Cass was appointed an MBE for her contribution to voluntary services in 2011.
Earlier this year, she was presented with Get Berkshire Active’s lifetime achievement award.
The European Diversity Awards have become the continent’s most prestigious and widely-respected diversity event since it launched six years ago.
The awards recognise individuals and organisations who have made an outstanding contribution to equality, diversity, and inclusion across Europe.