Elin Harlow from Conwy has received a £500 OCS Young Sports Person Award in recognition of her outstanding sporting ability. In the awards scheme, run in partnership with the charity SportsAid, squash player Elin to win one of two regional runner-up prizes for the Wales region.
13 year old Elin began to play squash aged five after her father who, as a squash player himself competing in local teams, introduced her to the sport. Aged just eight she became the U11 Welsh champion, and she also holds the titles of European No.1 U15 and British No.1 for U13. She placed 6th at the British Junior Open Girls U13 in 2010, a competition in which the best players in the world take part.
Elin is very dedicated and sometimes plays up to four times a day to develop technique and skill. She is coached by former England international Phil Whitlock, father of past OCS Young Sports Person winner Emily Whitlock. She won the British National Championships earlier this year and the French Junior Open in Lille. Elin is set to play in the Nordic Junior Open in Malmo this month, one of the eight European Super Series tournaments.
Previous OCS Young Sports Person Award winners include Olympic athletes, 400m runner Richard Buck, and gymnasts Louis Smith and Beth Tweddle MBE, along with Paralympic field athlete Nathan Stephens.
Chris Cracknell, chief executive of OCS said, “The OCS Young Sports Person Awards, now in its 14th year, highlights our commitment to supporting young people who are great role models, not only for their peers, but for many others in business and the community. Their drive and relentless determination to achieve their goals is inspirational. Our grass-roots scheme helps young athletes right at the start of their career when support and funding is needed most. Well done to the athletes who have been rewarded this year and we hope that they will have the same success as many of our past winners, some of whom look set to represent GB in London 2012.”