William Bettle from Essex 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, fencer William beat stiff competition to win one of two runners-up prizes for the London East region.
17 year old William took up fencing at school, after joining a lunchtime club and discovering a natural talent for the sport. As well as studying for six A levels, William trains four times a week and spends his weekends competing. Speaking of his award, William said, “The money will definitely help to pay for travel and accommodation. I generally go away Friday to Sunday with competitions up and down the country, so the money will make a real difference.”
William is quickly rising through the ranks, most recently winning bronze at the Manchester International U17 competition. He aspires to be like his idol, Neil Hutchison, the British Senior Champion in sabre fencing, and would love to go to the Olympic Games. Will recently made the U20 International squad for a competition in Poland for the Sosnowiec Junior World Cup.
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.”