A WINCHESTER woman has been honoured with Rotary International’s highest award, the Paul Harris Fellowship, for her contribution to Winchester Goalball Club.

Since becoming the treasurer for the club in 2013, Bridget Knott has taken part in every aspect, including coaching, fundraising and governance, whilst never missing a tournament.

The Paul Harris Fellowship - named after Rotary International’s founder - is usually reserved for members who have gone above and beyond, but in exceptional circumstances it is awarded for outstanding service to members of the community.

Bridget said: “It was such a surprise to be given this award from Winchester Rotary - I had no idea they had organised with my family for me to receive it.

“Together we have created a special club for the community and this award is an amazing moment for Winchester Goalball Club on our journey.

“Each day I feel so lucky that I get to work with an inspiring group of people to grow this club for the visually impaired people in our region.

“We all believe so strongly that those who are blind or partially sighted should have a sporting outlet and the opportunity to connect with like-minded people.

“When we started the club, we couldn’t have imagined where it would take us. I think it’s fair to say that it’s completely exceeded all our expectations. What we have achieved so far wouldn’t be possible without the support from the likes of Winchester Rotary.”

Goalball is a Paralympic sport that is played by blind and partially sighted athletes – two teams of three players have the objective to score a goal by throwing the ball along the floor into their opponents’ goal.

Bridget’s son, Adam, who is the chairman of Winchester Goalball Club, said: “Mum is a champion. She works tirelessly to raise funds and manages so much behind the scenes. She has spearheaded our goal to establish a goalball community in Winchester”.