Tributes have been pouring in for Catherine Ward, the cyclist who died in a road accident last week while taking part in a Warwickshire time trial.
The 52-year-old's family have asked for privacy while they come to terms with her death, but her husband Martin issued a statement.
It said: “Cath was a very caring and loving wife and mother, and sister to brother Norman. She never gave less than 100 percent to those people and issues she cared about. Her first priority was to care for her family, in particular her two daughters, Louise and Fiona, myself, and also our dog Monty, who came a close third.
“Secondly, Cath cared passionately about her work, both for the police force and previously, and unfortunately ironically, for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) where we met. Her caring nature was a perfect match for public service.
“Thirdly, Cath was a superb all-round amateur sportswoman. She had played junior tennis for Somerset as a girl and for Darlington Ladies cricket team while a student. Following her move to Solihull, she played a season of hockey for the Old Silhillians, ran two London Marathons, played a good standard of golf at Widney Mano GC and was captain of Dorridge CC’s first ladies' cricket team, coaching the youngsters on Friday evenings.
“Two years ago she took up cycling and joined Solihull CC. She really loved her cycling. She cycled from London to Paris for charity, she cycled in northern Spain, she cycled in Croatia, she cycled in Majorca, she cycled in the Pyrenees. She was Solihull CC’s top female time trialist and it is such a tragedy that something she enjoyed so much should result in the premature ending of her life.
“Her whole family are devastated, as are her friends and work colleagues, so many of whom have been so supportive to us at this most difficult time.”
Cath had recently moved to Claverdon, near Henley-in-Arden, from Dorridge, near Solihull. She worked for Warwickshire Police, where she had received two national awards and a Chief Constable's commendation for her work as a press officer.
She had studied journalism at Darlington College and received an advanced diploma in public sector PR, and had previously worked for RoSPA, the RNIB, Mid Somerset News and BBC Radio Newcastle.
Deputy Chief Constable Andy Parker said: “Cath worked for Warwickshire Police in a number of roles, each of which helped to protect communities from harm. She first joined as a press officer in 1995, being promoted to senior press officer before serving as staff officer to the Chief Constable. Most recently Cath was working to support a major investigation into the deaths of four firefighters in south Warwickshire.
"In everything she did, she was enthusiastic, professional and dedicated... Cath was a committed work colleague, and a true friend and an inspiration to many. She will be sorely missed."
Speaking on behalf of the RoSPA, director of public affairs Janice Cave said: “Cathy Ward was an extremely popular member of RoSPA staff and a first-class press officer. She was always passionate about road safety and made a great contribution to RoSPA’s efforts. She made many broadcasts on drink driving, speeding and child safety. She ran her first London marathon while on the staff. We are greatly saddened by the news of her death.”
Solihull Cycling Club member Cath was taking part in Beacon Road CC’s 10-mile event on Wednesday (4 August) when she was in collision with a black Audi car. She was confirmed dead at the scene by paramedics.
Police are appealing for witnesses to the incident, which took place on a straight section of dual carriageway near the Oversley Green roundabout, just outside Alcester, at 7.20pm. Call Acting Inspector Adrian Davis on 01926 415415.