Oliver Carruthers from Edinburgh has received a £500 OCS Young Sports Person Award in recognition of his outstanding sporting ability. In the awards scheme, run in partnership with charity SportsAid, sprint kayaker Oliver beat stiff competition to win one of two runners-up prizes for the Scotland region.
15 year old Oliver has been involved in the sport since 2008. He was invited to join the Scottish Canoe Association (SCA) and subsequently the National Performance Squad (NPS) after his Scout Leader, who was also a canoe instructor, spotted his potential and arranged a trial for him with the National Sprint Coach. Oliver's main achievements this season were in September at the British Sprint Canoeing Championships at Nottingham where he collected 1 silver and 3 gold medals in the under 16 boy’s category by coming 1st in K2, and 1st in K4 in the 1000m (Olympic discipline). He also placed 2nd in K2 and 1st in K4 in the 500m.
This season Oliver was promoted to the Boys ‘A’ division and was selected to attend a training camp run by the GB sprint canoeing coaches, for athletes whom they believe have the potential for junior GB selection. He is currently preparing for winter training which will involve cross-country skiing in Slovakia in January 2012, followed by pre-season training alongside some of the world's elite kayakers, at the prestigious Nelo Centre in Portugal in February 2012. The award he received from OCS has allowed him to jointly purchase a new K2 sprint boat for next season.
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 and 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.”