Elite British athletes have voted para-snowboarder Nina Sparks as their Athlete of the Month for March 2023.
With roughly 1,100 BEAA members from over 40 sports contacted to vote, Sparks earned the trophy following a month in which she enjoyed remarkable personal success.
Sparks’ March began two years to the day after being diagnosed with MS (multiple sclerosis) – marked by winning the final Europa Cup Snowboard Cross race of the season.
She then secured her first World Cup podium, became Europa Cup champion, and bagged silver and bronze in the World Championships.
Having been a keen snowboarder before her MS diagnosis, Sparks was classified as a para-snowboarder in November 2021. She enjoyed a strong first season, securing podiums in the Europa Cup and representing Great Britain in the Para Snow Sports World Championships in Lillehammer.
Commenting on her Athletes’ Athlete of the Month award, Sparks said: “It’s absolutely amazing. To be honest, I didn’t think I’d win – so it’s awesome that I have. The paragraph that was written about me for my nomination, I read that and was like: ‘Oh, wow. Yeah, that is quite cool – I have achieved a lot this season!’
“[Snowboarder and fellow nominee] Charlotte Bankes is one of the people I find extremely inspiring, so the fact we were nominated in the same month was like: ‘Oh, wow! This is cool.’… I find her so inspiring.”
Sparks topped a nominee list comprised of Bankes (snowboarding), Gemma Collis (wheelchair fencing) and Seonaid McIntosh (shooting), each of whom enjoyed commendable personal months.
The Athletes’ Athlete of the Month award is given to elite British sportspeople for their achievements in competition or elsewhere, such as personal development, inspiring comebacks, charity work, awareness raising and more.
It celebrates successes across elite British sport, and commends more than just competitive accomplishment – with every winner decided by the athlete community.
Thank you to every athlete that voted, and congratulations to Nina for winning, as well as to Charlotte, Gemma and Seonaid for their nomination.
Elite British athletes, to cast your vote next time, keep an eye on your emails from the BEAA!Access our support >