James MacSorley from Antrim 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, wheelchair basketball player James beat stiff competition to win one of two runners-up prizes in the Disability Category for Northern Ireland.
16 year old James has been playing wheelchair basketball for nine years. When a leaflet was posted through his door advertising a local club, although quite shy, he went along to give the sport a try. James now says he loves it, as it has given him confidence and the opportunity to make friends all over the UK.
James plays for the Knights Wheelchair Basketball Club and is currently part of the GB squad, having been captain for the team and recently named Junior Player of the Year. As the youngest player ever from Northern Ireland to go to wheelchair basketball camps, James is on track to compete in the Paralympics, which he counts as one of his long term goals. Commenting on his award, James said, “Thank you to OCS for the money. A new wheelchair can cost up to £2,700, so every penny helps! I am pleased to have been recognised. It makes all the hard work and training worth it.”
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. 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.”