Commonwealth Gold medal winner Jodie Gibson became the latest local star to receive a Black Pear Tree Award from World Class Worcestershire.
Jodie, who is currently completing a Sports Studies degree at the University of Worcester, received a Black Pear Tree in recognition of her performance at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Jodie was part of the winning England Netball Team that scooped gold in Australia. The 51-50 last second win over the host nation was a stand-out highlight of the Games for many.
She was presented with her Black Pear Tree and a special certificate by Worcestershire County Council Chairman Brandon Clayton at the University of Worcester Arena at an event today, which also saw a speech from the University's Pro Vice Chancellor, Ross Renton.
Jodie, who plays for local Superleague club Severn Stars, a franchise jointly owned by the Universities of Worcester and Gloucestershire, said: "It felt amazing to receive a Black Pear Tree Award. It's a privilege and a huge honour to be recognised for my success at the Commonwealth Games with Team England. Councillor Clayton said: "Jodie and her teammates did fantastically well and have probably inspired a generation of young people to play netball or maybe adults that who have played the game at school and given it up.
"We know you are originally from Bury but studying here at the University of Worcester, makes you an honorary Worcestershire resident and we're more than happy about that.
"You did yourself, your country and Worcestershire so proud at the Commonwealth Games."
Ross Renton, Pro Vice Chancellor Students at the University of Worcester and Co-Chair of the Severn Stars Board, added: “We are delighted and very proud to see Jodie receive this wonderful recognition for her achievements. Through her studies at the University and her amazing sporting prowess she has been a fantastic inspiration to many, and I’m sure will continue to be so.”
The Black Pear Tree Award was first launched in 2016 and is run by World Class Worcestershire. The awards have helped to highlight the breadth of talent within the county, be it through sport, business, education, or the arts by acknowledging those people who go above and beyond to put something back into their community.
Previous winners include Olympic rower Alex Gregory (MBE) from Evesham and swimmer Claire Cashmore from Wyre Forest.
Last year Black Pear Trees were presented to a group of Canary Girls from Worcestershire. The trees were planted in the grounds of County Hall in Worcester to recognise the hard work during the Second World War of the inspirational women.