Archery coach Crang mixes with the stars at Sports Personality of the Year
Rubbing shoulders with the likes of Jessica Ennis, being shortlisted as one of fourteen Unsung Heroes nationwide, sitting in a star-studded arena – for one Gloucestershire archer, the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year event was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Roger Crang, founder of Deer Park Archers in Cowley, became one of 14 UK finalists in the running for the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year Unsung Hero Award in recognition of more than 50 years' commitment to getting hundreds of youngsters and adults across the county into archery, helping individuals learn new skills, build community bonds, and cultivating national champions.
But on the night the award went to Leicestershire couple Sue and Jim Houghton, for their work bringing a derelict sports ground back to life as a multi-functional community facility for bowling, tennis and squash, tae kwondo, dance and football.
Yet despite not winning the gong, Roger, who attended the glitzy London event with daughter and fellow archery instructor Steph, was still very much on a high the morning after.
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He said: "When we arrived at the ExCel arena they'd arranged for us to have the proper red carpet treatment. We were just six rows back from the front, with 16,000 people, sat there with literally two people along or one in front was an Olympian.
"We made good friends with the couple who'd actually won. They've invited us up there to help them set up archery.
"For me, the highlight of the night was when Emeli Sande started to sing the song she did back at the Olympics. That was definitely my spine-tingling moment."
Roger's wife Mary, who is Deer Park Archers secretary, was full of praise for her husband.
"I just think it's fantastic, and I think he deserves credit for what he does. But for him this is all about the team – he's a team player."
Along with the other finalists, Crang and co got to rub shoulders with the likes of heptathlon gold medallist Jessica Ennis, Matthew Pincent and Steve Redgrave, which was an amazing experience for the archery coach.
As to Bradley Wiggins being crowned the overall Sports Personality of 2012, Roger felt Wiggins was a clear champion. "Every time his name was mentioned the roar from the crowd was always much louder then everybody else's," he said.
"The really special thing for us was that we were absolutely inundated with messages from club members who were watching, and this morning everybody was sending emails and texts through – as far as they were concerned we were the winners. That's the most special thing from the club's point of view – everybody sharing the moment."