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Sports Hero Award - James Ketchell
ADVENTURER James Ketchell was honoured with the Sports |Hero Award after his incredible sporting achievements over the last few years.
James is the only person in the world to have completed a trio of challenges – rowing across the Atlantic solo, climbing Mount Everest and cycling 18,000 miles around the world.
While completing his challenges, James, who was told by doctors he would never walk again after he broke both legs in a motorbike accident in 2007, raised money for The Elifar Foundation – a charity for children with disabilities.
James, from Eastrop, Basingstoke, is already preparing for his next challenge in 2015, when he will row across the Indian Ocean with a Scout leader who suffers from epilepsy.
The 31-year-old, who is a motivational speaker and Scouting ambassador, said he was delighted to have been honoured with the award.
He said: “Basingstoke is, and always will be, my home. This has been a wonderful evening and all of the people here are incredible.
“Just to be part of it is a huge honour. The sense of community here in Basingstoke is very strong.”
Andrew Rhys, business manager at Basingstoke Sports Centre, said: “James has undertaken and achieved some breathtaking feats involving outstanding physical and mental fortitude.
“Not only did he set himself a series of challenges that require the highest levels of dedication and commitment, but he coupled these with onerous tasks of obtaining funding, equipment and support staff, all of which is a mammoth undertaking in its own right.”
The runners-up in the category were Esther Adeshina and Brian Harrison.
Twelve-year-old tennis player Esther, who was also nominated for the Young Achiever Award, is currently ranked number one in the country for under-12s and eighth for under-14s. She is a member of the Great Britain national squad.
Brian, who was also nominated for the Basingstoke Ambassador Award, is a key member of Basingstoke Bluefins Swimming Club, and gives up much of his spare time to help the successful club to thrive.
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