Former Dragon Gareth Duke wins award

By Rhys Roberts - January 28 2005
Former Dragon Gareth Duke wins award Former Dragons Disabled Swimming Club Swimmer Gareth Duke recieved the Wales Sportstar award 2004 at a cermony in Cardiff last night.

Former Dragons Disabled Swimming Club swimmer Gareth Duke recieved the Wales Sportstar 2004 Award at ceremony in Cardiff. Previous winners of the award includes former Dragons D.S.C. swimmer and current assistant coach David Roberts.

The Western Mail report for the story:


Jan 28 2005

Paul Abbandonato, Western Mail


THE swimmer whose performances in Athens even made the legendary Tanni Grey-Thompson cry is the winner of the Wales Sportstar awards for 2004.


Gareth Duke, who powered to victory in the 100m at the Paralympic Games, received his award at a star-studded function in Cardiff last night.


Among the sporting big names who attended the dinner were Wales soccer boss John Toshack, rugby legend Gareth Edwards and WRU chief David Moffett.


They were present to pay tribute to the cream of Wales' up-and-coming sporting talent who were each vying for the main award.


Second place went to young Cardiff City footballer Joe Ledley, with 15-year-old Welsh international gymnast Rhian Pugh, from Newport, third.


The prestigious Western Mail Sportstar awards, which are sponsored by Jurys and run in association with UWIC, pay tribute to the best youngsters in Welsh sport.


Eighteen-year-old swimmer Duke, from Cwmbran, also won bronze in the 4 x 50m freestyle in Athens.


But it was his tearful medal ceremony after powering to victory in the 100m that was Tanni's golden moment.


"He was so emotional, it showed how much it means and I was crying my eyes out with him!" explained the wheelchair racer.


Having made his Paralympic debut in Athens, contributing to a massive 27-strong medal haul for Wales, Duke has since continued his record-breaking form.


Of the others to receive awards, the emergence of highly-rated Ledley has been one of the few high notes of what is proving to be a difficult season at Ninian Park.


It is only a matter of time before he breaks into Toshack's first team with Wales.


Gymnast Pugh somersaulted to gold at the European Junior apparatus finals in Amsterdam in May.