Celebrations began, just one week ago, at the UK Sports Association and across the sports world as Lauren Booth, Jessica-Jane Applegate, and the late Geoff Smedley’s accomplishments were recognised in the 2022 Virtus Awards.
The three talented Britons were awarded high ranks and titles; Lauren Booth, “Best Female Athlete,” Jessica-Jane Applegate, “Hall of Fame,” and Geoff Smedley, “Hall of Fame” posthumously.
This year’s awards were hosted by Virtus on 4th June, as part of the General Assembly in Vichy, France. This annual Awards Ceremony celebrates and honours those who contribute to intellectual impairment worldwide. The awards highlight those who make an impact and contribution to the Virtus family through outstanding sports performances or dedication as coaches and volunteers.
Lauren Booth is a UKSA Great Britain cyclist. Lauren is the 2017 500m TT x2 and Flying 200 mm British Cycling Para-cycling National Champion. She is also a 2019 INAS Global Games 6 times World Champion. Lauren continuously displays her hard work and dedication to cycling through competition or her work, engaging and inspiring others to take up sport. Lauren’s diligence and passion are conveyed through her “Best Female Athlete” Virtus Award.
Jessica-Jane Applegate is a two-time swimming Paralympic Champion, reaching the Paralympic podium in 2012 and 2020. Jessica-Jane has won 31 International medals for Great Britain in Worlds, Europeans, and the Paralympic Games. Jessica-Jane works hard to showcase her talent and demonstrates time and time again, her love for swimming, using her sport to inspire change. Winning the “Hall of Fame” award is an honour well deserved for her commitment and enthusiasm for her sport.
Geoff Smedley’s award was received by his family. Geoff passed away in March 2020, marking a tragic loss for the disability sports community. Geoff was passionate about sports and enjoyed spending his time with athletes. His past roles included, Chief Executive of the UK Sports Association, former President of Inas Europe, an Executive Board member of the European Paralympic Committee, and the President of the Sports Union for Athletes with Down’s Syndrome (SUDS). His career spanned more than 50 years in disability sport, which included teaching special educational needs. Geoff Smedley left a lasting impact on the world of sports. His legacy will continue to live on, exemplified through his “Hall of Fame” award.
The UK Sports Association congratulates all the winners of the 2022 Virtus Awards and welcomes Virtus’ recognition of the three British winners.
UKSA celebrates the accomplishments of Lauren Booth, Jessica-Jane Applegate, and Geoff Smedley. We look forward to seeing Lauren Booth and Jessica-Jane continue to succeed in the future and pay respect to the friends, family, and legacy of Geoff Smedley.
The UK Sports Association is the official UK member of Virtus. For more information on the awards, sports for people with intellectual impairment, or how you can get involved, please contact us.