Molly-Jo Watson from Middlesbrough 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, boxer Molly-Jo beat stiff competition to win one of two runners-up prizes in the North East region.
Molly-Jo, 17, has been boxing since she watched her brother-in-law compete ten years ago and became fascinated with the sport. Training at Wellington Amateur Boxing club, Molly-Jo is the only girl in the group. After years of practice, Molly-Jo made her amateur boxing debut last year, when she fought in an ABAE Junior Female Championship final. She took gold at her first ever competition and is on track to compete in the European Championships, in the women’s light bantamweight 52kg category.
She says her coach is the reason she succeeds: “My boxing coach John Dryden has always been there to give me the love and support that I've needed. Boxing is my life and I have no idea what I would be doing without it. Thank you to OCS for recognising me.”
Previous OCS Young Sports Person Award winners include gymnasts Beth Tweddle MBE and Louis Smith, athlete Richard Buck and 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.”