ATHLETE Josie Pearson has been shortlisted for the BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality of the Year award.

Josie, who lives in Brilley, is up against boxer Nathan Cleverly, footballer Gareth Bale, rugby player Dan Lydiate and cyclist Mark Colbourne in the 10-strong category.

The winner will be announced in a BBC Radio Wales programme from next Monday’s awards ceremony at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium. Herefordshire motor-cycle ace Chaz Davies won the BBC honour 12 months ago.

“I was not expecting that at all – it was a very nice surprise,” said Josie. “Just to be nominated alongside those other sports people is an amazing feeling.

“It will be incredibly tough to win it against the quality of those people – so I won’t be expecting anything and I will be going to enjoy the evening.”

Josie won the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Sports Partnership’s Sports Personality of the Year accolade in Worcester last month.

She has had a superb year, winning gold in the women’s F51 discus category at the 2012 Paralympics in London.

Josie has appeared on Royal Mail stamps and a postbox was painted golden in her honour in her home town of Hay-on-Wye. She also switched on the town’s Christmas Lights.

Josie will be appearing at the National Lottery Awards and has been invited to see Phantom of the Opera at the National Theatre in Cardiff.

She has visited various schools and has done an assembly and speech night at her old school – Fairfield High.

“It’s been a very busy time and there are quite a few other exciting things in the pipeline,” said Josie.

“The Christmas Lights switch-on was fantastic – there were so many children. I didn’t realise I was so well-known. But I am very much a grounded person and the Paralympics have not changed me.

“It’s increased my profile as an individual athlete and also the sport which I do. I am trying to glam up throwing and, hopefully, it will inspire other people to get involved in sport because there are so many opportunities out there.”

n The BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality of the Year award contenders: JOSIE PEARSON, Gareth Bale, Leanda Cave, Nathan Cleverly, Mark Colbourne, Aled Sion Davies, Jade Jones, Tom James, Dan Lydiate and Geraint Thomas.