Paralympics star Aileen helps honour sports heroes

WITHIN days of cyclist Bradley Wiggins picking up the BBC Sports Personality Of The Year title, Renfrewshire has celebrated its sporting champions with the help of its own Paralympian heroine bike star.

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Renfrewshire Council's Provost Anne Hall teamed up with medal-winning cyclist Aileen McGlynn to help honour the area's grassroots sporting champions.

The Paisley-born cyclist – who was Evening Times Scots Sportswoman Of The Year in 2008 and given an OBE in 2009 – is partially-sighted, but rides in tandem with a fully-sighted pilot.

She picked up a silver medal in the summer to add to the three gold and one silver won at the Athens and Beijing Paralympics.

Provost Hall gave a short speech congratulating Aileen, who used to train with the Johnstone Wheelers club, while also praising her fellow Renfrewshire-connected Olympians and Paralympians

They are Emily Maguire, of Paisley, who won bronze in London as part of Team GB's ladies' hockey team, and 16-year-old Paralympic swimmer Andrew Mullen, who started out at the local REN96 club, and who qualified for three finals in the pool.

The Provost said: "The achievements of our Olympians and Paralympians this summer were so inspiring to watch.

"It was great to meet Aileen in person to hear her talk about her fantastic list of achievements over the years.

"There was a lot of talk during this summer of sport about legacy, and that is what organisations like Renfrewshire Sports Network are there to build.

"The ultimate success of the London Olympics and Paralympics will be judged on how many of our young people are taking part in sport and living healthy lives."

Aileen, 39, handed out awards to local sportspeople as the guest of honour at the town hall event.

Renfrewshire Sports Network offers representation and support to a range of sports clubs.

A total of £5800 was given out on the night to help aid local competitors.

John Rodger, chairman of Renfrewshire Sports Network, said: "It was the first time we have held an event like this, but the Provost wanted to do something to help us mark the Olympic year and the achievements of our sporting champions.

"It was a great night and was really successful."

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