Lauren Rathbone 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, para equestrian Lauren beat stiff competition to scoop one of two runner-up prizes in the Disabled Athlete for England category.
16 year old para equestrian Lauren, from Sheffield, has been riding professionally for two years. After a lifetime of being fascinated by horses, she was eventually successful in attending the BYRDS camp (British Young Riders Dressage Scheme). Lauren has hyper mobility syndrome, a condition that affects joints and which can cause weakness and feelings of tiredness. Her doctor recommended a gentle sport to help ease the condition and Lauren has been hooked on riding ever since, competing at an international level in both para dressage and able-bodied dressage. She won the Para-Equestrian Dressage Talent Spotting in 2009 with 81% and competed at Melton College, achieving over 70% in the para FEI tests.
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.”