Our 2015 finalists have been announced. There will be three regional awards in each of the following four regions:
- Scotland & Northern Ireland
- Central & North
- Wales & West
- London & South East
The overall winner of the 2015 OCS Young Sports Person award was, for the first time in the event's history, chosen from all the regional winners by an audience vote during the awards evening. The Young Sports Person Awards ceremony took place on Thursday, 19 November at the GLA in London.
Scotland & Northern Ireland
Owen has been playing table tennis since the age of 8, progressing to competing for Ulster and representing Ireland in Europe.
He pushes himself hard and enjoys training, improving, competing and winning. His hero is NI boxer Carl Frampton who has made many personal sacrifices to win a world title.
Recently Owen has been travelling a lot for training and competitions. In a normal week he has six training sessions plus a fitness session, spending weekends at Irish training camps or domestic tournaments. Owen is motivated to work hard and his aim is to play at the Commonwealth Games. The Sports Aid award will enable him to enter European events, as competing at this higher level will increase his standard of play and results.
Table tennis means he doesn’t lead a typical 13 year old’s life, he is often away from his family and misses events with friends or school. On the positive side he travels all over Europe, meeting new people from lots of different countries. Free time from table tennis is a luxury, but it gives him chance to play other sports with family and friends.
Earlier this year Owen took a bronze medal in the Molnar Open in his Under-13 category and is ranked as Ireland's top under-18 player.
Jack started playing wheelchair basketball in 2006 and plays in the winter with racing in the summer.
Jack’s busy week includes training at the Mary Peters Track and competition preparation. On rest days he enjoys chilling out with friends mixing and creating music.
Jack often has to travel to England for the high level competitions so his SportsAid Award helps with training and travel. Competing against the best motivates him to get faster times and PBs.
His parents influence has taught him to be respectful, to work hard and to be the best he can be. David Weir inspired Jack to take up wheelchair racing as he has achieved so much. Sport has taught Jack that he can achieve anything and he wants to show other young disabled people that they can compete in sport at a high level too.
In 2014 Jack won the London Mini Marathon and also became British Athletics 3 Mile Road Race Champion, Irish Junior Champion at 100, 200, 400, 800 & 1500m and England Athletics U18 2014 Champion at 1500m and U15 2013 Champion at 100,200 & 400m
Jack’s current targets are to represent GB and NI at the first International Paralympic Committee World Junior Championships in 2017 and NI at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Barry started boxing aged 9 at his local club. He trains every day after school and with the Ireland team every other Sunday. The SportsAid award will help with travel and boxing equipment.
Barry is motivated to by seeing how far he can get in his sport as many Irish boxers have shown it is possible to get to the top. His sporting hero is Carl Frampton, a boxing world champion who is very down to earth.
Boxing has changed Barry’s life as he’s made many friends not just in boxing in Belfast but all over the world. He is most influenced by his parents and coaches who have helped him achieve what he has. In his free time Barry likes going to the movies or eating out with friends.
In 2014 Barry was awarded schoolboy boxer of the year, he captained his country at the Schoolboy European Championships and was awarded young sports personality of the year by Belfast City Council. He has also twice been a European silver medallist, five times Irish champion, six times Antrim champion and four times Ulster champion. His aims are to keep working hard, to learn from his mistakes and see where life takes him.
Central & North
After a ‘try session’ Emily found she loved rhythmic gymnastics, continually learning new skills and the excitement of competing. Emily’s inspiration comes from Rachel Smith, from her local club, who competed in the 2012 Olympics and made her realise dreams were possible.
Emily trains each day after school for 2/3 hours and for 4 hours each Saturday. Her motivation is to be the best she can and represent her country in a major competition. The SportsAid award will help towards transport and accommodation when competing as well as coaching and equipment. Her biggest influence is her coach because she always pushes to get the best from her, constantly offering advice and encouragement.
Rhythmic gymnastics has given Emily greater self confidence and made her determined and disciplined in everything she does. In her free time Emily enjoys playing other sports or having fun with friends and family.
During 2014 Emily won gold at the U11 British Rhythmic Gymnastic Championships All Round Competition, the English Rhythmic Gymnastic Championships and the National Development Plan Zonal Grades Event and was crowned West Midland Champion. In 2013 Emily won a gold, three silver and two bronze medals.
Her aims are to compete at the British Championships, be selected for the GB Junior squad to compete at the Commonwealth Games and Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
From primary school Lee started playing wheelchair basketball for local club Whirlwinds, who he still plays for. He trains three times a week, helps deliver school wheelchair basketball sessions and plays weekend league matches.
His hero is Harry Brown, also a double amputee, who is a member of the GB U-23s and GB Men's team. Lee’s motivation is to wear the GB vest in international and paralympic competitions.
Lee’s biggest influence is his coach who introduced him to the sport and the GB Coaches who help improve his performance. He enjoys learning from the best players in the country. Wheelchair basketball enables Lee to show that having a disability doesn't stop anyone from becoming an elite athlete.
In 2014 Lee played for Yorkshire U15 and U19s and was a runner up in the North of England School Games and the BWB National Juniors Event. He played for an U17 GB team in a Junior Paralympic Tournament, the GB Men's U-23 squad and was reserve at the Men's U-23's European Championships.
Lee’s aims are to play in the National School Games for the North of England and Yorkshire in the BWB National Juniors, also to play National League D1 so his coach can secure him a place at one of the major wheelchair basketball clubs. The SportsAid Award will help with extra travel costs and sportschair maintenance.
Athletics high jump
Rory’s first taste of athletics was at school, aged 9. He enjoyed it so much he joined the local athletics club where he has trained regularly ever since.
A typical week for Rory comprises a mixture of training sessions at his club plus Saturday training with the national high jump coach. The Sportsaid award will go towards travelling costs to allow him to maximise the training and competition opportunities available.
High jumper Mutaz Barshim is a great inspiration as he won the World juniors, and has succesfuly moved into senior competition. Rory would love to compete against him one day. Being a sportsperson gives Rory great satisfaction when competing and entertaining the crowd. He enjoys the challenge of being the best he can, but says that while it is always great to win medals as much satisfaction can come from small improvements in personal targets.
Sport has changed Rory’s life as it gives him a focus and goals for the future and he has already had many exciting experiences that he could never have dreamt of. Without the support of his mum and dad he couldn't have achieved what he has. In the little spare time that he has, Rory keeps up with his school work and catches up on his sleep.
In 2014 Rory won several gold medals – at the ESAA, UK school games, U17 EA national indoor championships and at both the Midlands indoor and outdoor championships. He also won silver at the U20 national outdoor championships.
In his first year at U20 level, Rory’s aim is to qualify for the European junior championships as well as winning a medal at all the major domestic championships . Longer term he would like to represent GB at the Commonwealth Games and Olympics as a regular member of the senior GB team.
Wales & West
At just three, Oliver was signed up for coaching. He spends hours in the gymnasium and also enjoys sharing his passion and skills with the next generation of young gymnasts.
He trains 6 days a week and enjoys the challenges of high performance training and is keen to continually develop and improve.Oliver’s hero is Dong Dong, an ‘awesome gymnast’ who has pushed the boundaries of trampolining. Formerly an elite athlete, Oliver has had to rehabilitate following a serious trampolining accident. The Sports Aid Award will help fund on-going specialist physiotherapy on his knee.
Trampolining has been the central part of Olivers life and it has made him very resilient. All his family are very supportive and his coach gave him the self belief he needed to succeed. Oliver enjoys seeing his mates and playing football. He is a school sports leader and helps other pupils reach their full potential.
In 2014, in individual 11-12 years trampolining, at the WAGC Worlds USA event Oliver came sixth in the world, second in Europe and first in GBR, he came first at the Worlds Trials event, second in the NDP National Finals and first at the Trampoline and Tumbling Spring Event Series 4.
Despite more surgery, Oliver is preparing for national/international competitions. Long-term he aims to be ranked first in World and European Age Groups, become the first Junior Men’s Youth Olympic Champion and Senior Men’s Olympic Trampolinist and become the first GBR trampolinist to win an Olympic medal.
Polly got into athletics at school aged 10, was scouted as part of a disability atypical programme and subsequently competed in the Junior South West Championships.
Polly’s training makes her a more motivated person and she loves belonging to club she can run for. Her sport has made her the person she is, and she enjoys it, especially when the training really does show results. She trains 6 days a week and the Sportsaid award will help towards travelling and completion costs and investment in a starting block to improve her starts.
Polly looks up to Ellie Simmons, as she competed at the highest level at such a young age. Her family are very supportive of her and her ambitions. In her spare time she plays a lot of hockey, sees friends or mainly works and trains.
In 2014 Polly came first in all three of her events (100m, 200m and LJ) at the IWAS World Junior Games. She would like to compete in the IPC World Championships in Doha and her dream is to compete in the Rio Paralympic Games in 2016.
Hanna first went sailing with her dad, aged 4, and after she sailed on her own, her love of racing began. Her dad is the most influential person in her life, driving her and her boat all around the world as without him nothing would be possible.
Hanna ‘thoroughly enjoys’ sailing and inspiring others to take it up. She likes the exhilaration of going out of her comfort zone or mastering a new technique. Sport has taught her that achievement comes through hard work. Her SportsAid Award will go towards travel and coaching costs and new sailing equipment. Hanna has three fitness sessions a week and either trains/competes at the weekend or sails with her club. In her free time she enjoys meeting up with friends or going for family bike rides.
Hanna’s sporting hero is Olympic medallist Iain Percy who has helped thousands of people discover sailing after he set up the Andrew Simpson Sailing Center in memory of his sailing partner,. This year Hanna competed in the Youth National Championships (3/31) and in 2014 the Noble Marine Autumn Qualifier Event (10/99), the Youth Olympic Games, (18/30), the Laser Radial Youth Europeans (36/77) and the Byte C11 World Championships, 6/30.
Hanna's aims are to re-qualify for the Radial Youth Squad and qualify for the Europeans and Worlds teams in France and Canada, also to represent GB at the ISAF Youth Worlds in Malaysia. Her dream is to win an Olympic medal for GB.
London & South East
Katie has been swimming since she was a baby. At the age of 5, whilst swimming in the rapids pool at Center Parcs, the lifeguard said he had never seen such a young child swim so strongly. This prompted Katie’s parents to take her to the local competitive swim club and at the age of 8 Katie was selected for the the club's first squad.
Katie enjoys the sport because it keeps her fit and strong and she enjoys winning. It has given her a lot of confidence and pride in herself. One day she would like to become a paralympian.
Her Mum is the biggest influence in her life as she is also disabled and once won a medal for her country. Katie’s sporting heroes are paralympic medallist Hannah Russel because she is also visually impaired and Ellie Simmonds because she is a well known disability swimmer.
In a typical week Katie will swim 6 times a week for a total of 7 hours. The SportsAid Award will help cover equipment costs and go towards travel and accommodation. In her free time Katie enjoys playing with friends, dance, athletics, drama and singing.
In 2014 Katie came second in both the Female MC 50m Freestyle and the Female MC 100m Backstroke at the ASA South East Region Championships nd won a bronze medal at the BG Para Swimming Championships Event: Female 10 to 13 years S13 50m Freestyle.
David first became involved in goalball through helping his brother, who was already in the GB squad, with his training. David’s own skills rapidly improved and he entered the domestic league at the elite level. He played for Great Britain at the International Youth Championships in Colorado Springs, and subsequently began training with the men's squad.
A full time student, David trains six days a week with GB training every couple of weeks. He enjoys pushing himself physically and mentally aong with the camaraderie of working and competing with a team. David’s SportsAid Award would allow him to maximise his potential by contributing towards travel and accommodation, equipment, training and physiotherapy.
David is motivated by always wanting to improve his personal best, for himself and the team. His brother is his biggest influence – they train, compete and work together to win. Sport changed David’s life as he always thinks about the day’s training and feels that being an athlete has a daily impact from what he eats to how he leads his life. Goalball has given David confidence and independence.
When there is no GB training, David coaches or plays at his club or at tournaments. He is an avid Southampton Football Club supporter and a Grade 8 tenor horn player.
A key aim for the coming year is to gain promotion from the Men's European C League to the B League. He would like to medal in his second Paralympics at Tokyo 2020 and help take the team to a leading role in European and world goalball.
Key acievements are third places at Stockholm Paragames and Malmo International Intercup and a first place at the Goalball UK International Youth Tournament Event, fourth at the IBSA European C Championships Event and reaching the group stage at London 2012 paralympics.
Francesca first started playing netball at primary school. Her teacher suggested she join her local netball club and she started playing U11 local leagues. After being selected for Berkshire County Academy U13 she began playing at county level and in regional competitions.
Being fit and healthy makes Francesca feel more confident in other parts of her life. Her sporting hero is Geva Mentor ias she became involved with England Netball at 16 and at 30 is still the first choice goal keeper.
Francesca trains several times a week plus weekend matches and monthly National Academy training. The SportsAid Award would help with travel costs as much of the year Francesca travels around 300 miles a week. She is a very ambitious person and is motivated to train hard by how much she enjoys the sport and being a part of a winning team. Her mum is the most influential person in her life because she dedicates so much time and commitment to Francesca’s sport.
Netball has completely changed Francesca’s life, she has become very good at time management to fit in school work and training. She has had to make a lot of sacrifices to play at this level, but in her free time she likes to spend time with friends and to bake.
In 2014 Francesca played in the U19 National Academy Tour (winning 6/6 matches) and was part of the team in the U19 and U17 Netball Europe events, becoming England tournament winners at both.
Francesca’s aims are to be selected for the U19 National Academy Tour to Australia this summer (2015) and to win the National Premier 2 League with her club. Longer term she would like to be part of the England U21 squad and be selected for the England senior squad for the Commonwealth Games.