A HARD-WORKING and selfless wheelchair basketball coach has been rewarded for the vital role she has played in supporting her club members during the coronavirus pandemic.

Anna Jackson, a former wheelchair basketball international who represented Great Britain at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games and is now head coach at the Cheshire Phoenix Wheelchair Basketball Club in Ellesmere Port, has received a BBC North West Tonight Christmas Star Award.

The presentation of the award came as a big shock to Anna who thought the TV crews were meeting her at Live! at New Scene Youth Centre in Chester to talk solely about the impact of the pandemic on sport.

Unbeknown to Anna, club vice-captain Stephanie Taylor had nominated her for the award as recognition for all her hard work during the crisis – making sure the club met every week via Zoom, helping members access fitness equipment, and for prioritising their mental health and wellbeing.

Chester and District Standard: Anna Jackson being interviewed by BBC North West Tonight.Anna Jackson being interviewed by BBC North West Tonight.

At the end of the socially-distanced filming, Stephanie revealed her special secret and Anna's partner Karen presented the award.

A delighted Anna, from Chester, said: "I am so honoured to win this award. My aim over lockdown was to keep our club together even though we could not be together.

"Not being able to train has been tough for everyone but with a weekly Zoom and some extra fun sessions online I feel we all know each other so much better and it has been amazing to see everyone supporting each other.”

The interview and presentation of the award was shown on BBC North West Tonight yesterday evening (December 14).