Alex Thomas from Surrey has received a £1,500 OCS Young Sports Person Award in recognition of her outstanding sporting ability. In the awards scheme, run in partnership with the charity SportsAid, taekwondo player Alex beat stiff competition to scoop the prize for the London M25 Region.
Alex, 15, has been playing taekwondo since the age of five when a school friend encouraged her to try it out. She wanted to learn a martial art to be able to protect herself and her determination has certainly paid off. Alex is currently a five times national champion, a 2nd Dan black belt, a British international champion and a Commonwealth champion. She also holds gold medals from the 2009 Park Pokal in Germany, the 2010 Swedish Open Cadet and the 2010 British International Junior competition. She recently went to the Warsaw Cup in Poland with the Junior National team and after having four really tough fights, Alex took silver medal in the finals.
Her Olympic category is 67kg and, as she is too young for 2012, she is aiming for the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Alex says maintaining her weight to stay in the same category is paramount and, with only twelve carbohydrates a day allowed, measuring out her food is a daily task. “Four spoonfuls of pasta is one carbohydrate but I have do keep my weight stable and so have to stick to it!”
As winner of her category, Alex will join the winners from nine other UK regions, four national disability category winners and the Young Star category winner at a celebratory event on 24th November in the OCS Stand at the Kia Oval. On the day, OCS will announce one overall winner who will receive a further £8,500 worth of support over three years. Previous OCS Young Sports Person Award winners will attend the event alongside a host of top sporting stars such as Kate Howey MBE, Wayne Otto OBE, Beth Tweddle MBE and Rory Underwood MBE.
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.”