The National Lottery Spirit of Sport award was won by Kim Daybell, Polly Swann and Vicky Wright, who stepped away from sport this year to serve on the frontline of the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic.

Two-time Paralympian Kim Daybell from Sheffield has been recognised for his fight against COVID-19 as he put his Paralympic table tennis ambitions on hold. Earlier this year he returned to work full time at Whittington Hospital in North London, as a Senior House Doctor to help look after COVID patients.

“This has obviously been a very difficult year,” said Daybell; “everyone has been struggling and there hasn’t been a huge amount to celebrate so it is really nice to have the work that we have done recognised. Not that we need recognition but just to have it recognised by people outside of the medical community as well and to have sport rallying round frontline workers is a really nice thing and I’m very proud to have won the award.”

Due to start full time training in March this year to prepare for the Tokyo Paralympic Games, Daybell is now cautiously optimistic about next year when he is hoping to get the chance to compete in his third Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

“As far as 2021 is concerned I’m feeling more optimistic, particularly with the vaccine coming through, but I don’t think the whole COVID thing is over yet. There is still a battle to fight but we are getting there and I’m feeling positive about the future.”