THE golden girl of British gymnastics, Beth Tweddle, was the star of the show at the 25th anniversary awards ceremony for the Trinity Mirror/ScottishPower Your Champions campaign.
The Olympic bronze medallist and Cheshire sporting legend was declared the Champion of Champions at the end of an emotional evening packed with stories of dedication, courage and achievement.
The former Queen’s School girl from Bunbury was the star attraction at the event which took place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Chester on Friday.
Fans flocked to have their picture taken with the sporting superstar and to get her autograph during breaks in the awards ceremony.
And the 27-year-old was the focus of everyone’s attention at the climax of the event when TV presenter and master of ceremonies Trevor Green introduced a film which showed Beth working with some aspiring gymnasts at a school in Merseyside.
The film also included tributes from her parents Jerry and Ann as well as other family members and representatives from charities such as Claire House and the North West Air Ambulance, for whom Beth has carried out many fundraising activities.
Then it was time for the star herself to take to the stage to receive her Your Champions trophy from Carl Wood, commercial director of Trinity Mirror North West, Neil Clitheroe of ScottishPower and special guest, former world snooker champion Dennis Taylor.
Beth told the audience: “Like so many of the people we have heard about tonight, I do what I do because I enjoy it.”
She paid special tribute to her parents who provided her with the encouragement to fulfill her dreams and have followed her all over the world.
“I think they have only ever missed about five tournaments I have taken part in,” she said.
It was a fitting end to the silver jubilee ceremony for the Your Champions awards scheme, taking place in the same year as the London 2012 Olympics.
Sporting achievements featured regularly throughout the evening including the crowning of Flintshire teenager Jade Jones as overall Sporting Champion of the Year for her gold medal success in taekwondo.
Earlier, Carl Wood began the introductions by welcoming all the winners, their guests and civic dignitaries to the silver jubilee event.
He said: “It is my great pleasure to say how proud we are at Trinity Mirror to be associated with this truly fantastic community initiative.”
Describing Your Champions as his favourite event of the year, he added: “The main reason we are here is to celebrate the achievements of some very special people who have shown great courage and bravery.
“They are all truly remarkable people.”
Neil Clitheroe then paid tribute to Roy Jones MBE, community liaison manager at ScottishPower and the main driving force behind Your Champions for the past seven years.
“Roy Jones typifies community spirit. He started in 1972 as a clerk so this is his 40th year with the company.”