THE Isle of Wight's Clare Griffin has been crowned the Sunday Times Vitality Grassroots Sportswoman of the Year.

The West Wight Sports and Community Centre manager was presented with the award at a star-studded ceremony at the News Building in London last night (Thursday).

Clare was one of four UK grassroots sportswomen nominated for the award, but said she was stunned when her name was read out after receiving thousands of votes on the Sunday Times website.

She said: "This is absolutely fantastic for the West Wight and for the whole of the Island."

Clare has worked at the sports centre for 30 years, originally as swimming pool manager, and masterminded the growth of the centre which is now a community hub which also includes a learning centre, recently extended gym and climbing wall.

She said: "This is tribute to the whole of our community. I was absolutely overwhelmed when I went up to receive the award.

"The three other people who were nominated were all worthy. One ran a surf club, another a wheelchair basketball club and the third a football club. It was incredible to be chosen."

And Clare, who attended with son Dan Flux, also had another special supporter cheering her on.

She said: "I was sitting with 200m world champion Dina Asher-Smith, who took the Sportswoman of the Year award.

"She said that she was nearly in tears when my name was called out because it is sports centres like ours which help produce the next champions."

After Clare received the award there was a round of interviews with talkSPORT and the Sunday Times.

She said: "This can only help us raise our profile and help us in our efforts with fundraising to sustain our future."

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