PLUCKY Christine Bradley has already beaten the odds once by recovering from a serious road accident to fulfil her life’s ambition of swimming the English Channel.
Now the 50-year-old is hoping to upset the odds again when she goes up against world-famous athletes in a bid to clinch a prestigious award.
Christine, from Silsden, had given up swimming at the age of 12 after being injured when she was hit by an articulated lorry.
She narrowly avoided having a leg amputated and the incident left her badly scarred.
But after switching from a desk job in IT two years ago to become a fitness coach, and battling her weight, she completed the Channel swim in September last year - a distance of just under 40 miles in a time of 18 hours and 56 minutes.
Christine, a swimming teacher at Craven Pool in Skipton, had completed a relay crossing of the Channel as part of a team a year earlier, but had only ever swum for seven hours without a break.
Now she is hoping to be named a winner in the Sporting Achievement category of the Yorkshire Choice Awards, which recognise local people who are an inspiration in their field.
But she will be facing tough opposition in the shape of triathletes Jonathan and Alistair Brownlee.
The brothers, who attended Bradford Grammar School and live in Bramhope, have enjoyed a remarkable year which saw them claim gold and silver in the triathlon at the Rio Olympics.
Alistair was later awarded the MBE and came second in BBC Sports Personality of the Year after helping an exhausted Jonny over the finish line at a World Series race in Mexico.
Meanwhile, paralympian wheelchair racer, Hannah Cockroft, from Halifax, is also in contention for the sought-after award.
Christine, who also teaches at Ilkley Swimming Club, said she felt overwhelmed to be included in a group which included so many inspirational athletes.
“I work hard in my sports, I train hard but never see myself as a great success,” she said
“I am so flattered that people find my story inspirational, and this award would be the icing on the cake,” she added.
“I’m incredibly proud to be listed amongst some fantastic athletes in the Yorkshire region.”
Voting for the Yorkshire Choice Awards is now open at yorkshirechoiceawards.co.uk. Winners will be announced at a gala dinner at Leeds United’s ground, on April 1.