ONE of the region’s international sporting talents has defied disability to achieve success.

Marion Harrison, 65, has been nominated for the Mel Higham Service to Sport category in this year’s Flintshire Sports Personality of the Year awards.

She is up against water aerobics coach Linda Eltham, respected cricket figure Andy Neath and there is a posthumous nomination for former football secretary Margaret Sewell.

The awards night will be held at Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Mold, on Friday.

Marion, of Marlborough Avenue, Hawarden, has been confined to a wheelchair for the past 15 years while achieving success at curling.

“When it was first suggested to me I have a go at curling, I thought they were talking about my hair,” laughed Margaret, who regularly plays twice a week in the Deeside area. “But then I started doing it and realised it was something I could do despite being in a wheelchair.”

The former nurse and teacher has now become an established part of the Welsh wheelchair curling squad, feeling immense pride at representing her country and meeting fellow players from across the world.

“I can still remember my feelings of pride when I first represented Wales,” said Margaret. “When the national anthem started there were tears streaming down my face and I think that was the case for the other players as well.”

She added: “I believe what I’m doing is nice for other wheelchair users. It shows there is a sport they can do while in a wheelchair and keeps me in the routine of going out and doing things. It proves that being in a wheelchair cannot stop you playing sport.”

Margaret was confined to a wheelchair due to crippling Arthritis but the rise in the alternative branch of the sport of Kurling – which is not played on ice – has allowed her to compete against able-bodied players.

Margaret wishes to thank her husband Brian and brother Ken Parry for their efforts in transporting her to curling to allow her to pursue her passion.