Dean Rooney from Liverpool has received a £500 OCS Young Sports Person Award in recognition of his outstanding sporting ability. In the awards scheme, run in partnership with the charity SportsAid, boxer Dean beat stiff competition to win one of two runners-up prizes for the North West region.
16 year old Dean took up boxing at just eight years old, after attending a local club with a friend. Since then, he has progressed rapidly through the ranks and currently holds three prestigious titles in the 66kg-70kg category; the 2010 ABA golden gloves, the 2010 Three Nations, and the 2010 North West Regional finals. He is also a two times national schoolboy champion and European bronze medallist, which he achieved at the European Championships in Anapa, Russia.
In the junior category, Dean needs to travel extensively within the UK to fight opponents who are suited to his age and weight category. His sights are set on competing in the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and he aims to be like his idol, US professional boxing champion Floyd Mayweather. “Floyd is the best in the game.” says Dean, “He’s a really technical fighter; something I aspire to be. I am really pleased with the OCS award as it means a lot to me and makes me feel like I am finally being recognised for all my hard work. It will also help with the cost of travelling.”
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.”