A CUDDINGTON woman who moved back home to pursue a career as a self-employed translator has been celebrating after winning a prestigious award for her work.

Sarah Bowyer, 36, who was brought up in Winsford, studied Modern Languages at Cambridge University, before settling into a ten year career as a corporate law solicitor in the city of London.

Having had a passion for languages since attending Woodford Lodge High School, Sarah decided she wanted to use those skills - she is fluent in both French and Spanish - and start her own company, which would allow her to also move closer to home.

She said: "I always enjoyed studying languages at school and had some brilliant teachers so it was an easy choice in a way because it was something I've always enjoyed doing.

"I grew up in Winsford and my family are still there and I liked the idea of doing something a bit different that I'd enjoy, plus I'd be able to bring in my legal background too.

"It's also allowed me to work in sports too, which I find really fun and that's another passion.

"So I decided to tie it all together and become my own boss, but little did I know that the coronavirus would be around the corner."

Her company, Crossbow Translations, was formed in 2019, and a large part of her work sees her combine her knowledge around employment law and a passion for football, when translating contracts for players.

However, the really interesting aspect she says is when she is hired to translate the words of both players and managers during press conferences, including on the biggest of stages of all, such as the last couple of Champions League finals.

"Recently, for example, I've done the Nations League and I've also done the Champions League and Europa League finals", she explained.

"I get sent the press conferences and then my translations end up being used as subtitles on video clips which are shown, say on the Uefa website, and a couple of weeks ago when I saw something I'd done feature on BT Sports before one of the Champions League matches."

"I've worked on the last couple of Champions League Finals now as well, but I don't get to actually go unfortunately.

"Everything can be done remotely now, which is great in terms of being able to carry on working, but not so good in be able to get the nice perks of the job.

"A highlight for me was an interview with Juan Mata, who is one of my favourite players.

"I've also translated the press conference for quite a few managers of Spain, as there's been quite a few of those recently."

As well as Juan Mata, Sarah has also translated interviews held with football legend Zinedine Zidane as well as current superstar Kylian Mbappe, but it is not just sport that brings her a sense of accomplishment, as he voluntary work with several organisations in Africa demonstrates.

"I volunteer for a couple of different organisations, one of which is called Translators Without Borders and they work in all kinds of languages with lots of people" she added.

"One of the projects I did was for a UN organisation that was working in different countries in south and eastern Africa where they were sending English speaking medical professionals to help advise people about the coronavirus, because such resources are obviously thin on the ground.

"So my work basically involved translating the health messages we have here, that we all take for granted, such as keeping your hands clean, what happens if you're pregnant, and just making sure they were available in different languages.

"I also did a similar project for migrants living in France, who didn't speak the language, where I would translate advice and guidance by the French government into English so that it was accessible."

Having only established the company in 2019, Sarah says she was 'really really pleased' to be recognised by the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) with a prestigious award for 'Best Newcomer' working as a Freelancer.

The award ceremony took place online on September 4, which meant Sarah could enjoy the honour from the comfort of own home, surrounded by her family.

She said: "I was sitting at home with my family.

"They'd sent the award through a couple of weeks before and it arrived in this giant Digestive biscuit box so I had no idea what it was at first.

"My mum was in the house at the time and she said 'have you just been ordering loads of biscuits?'.

"I think they did a good job of moving everything online and it's meant people have been able to carry on and still participate and link up in new ways, which is good."

As for the future, Sarah hopes to improve her Portuguese, which she says would open additional doors for her work across the world.

She added: "I studied it for a year at uni so it's not quite at the same standard as my French and Spanish.

"Despite looking similar to Spanish on the page, Portuguese sounds different.

"I always say it's like Spanish, but with a Dutch accent."