13 year old short track speed skater Dannielle Khan from Solihull was named the OCS Young Sports Person of the Year overall winner for 2009 at the awards luncheon. The Rt Hon Richard Caborn, former Minister of Sport and ambassador for a 2018 football World Cup bid, presented the overall winner award to Dannielle along with Britain’s most successful gymnast Beth Tweddle.
Dannielle told the 200 plus awards luncheon guests that she had taken up her sport after her Dad had taken her to see a speed skating competition. “I just wanted to have a go,” she said. “It’s tough, rough and very tactical and that’s what I really enjoy about it,” continued Dannielle. She was shocked but happy to receive the overall award and thanked OCS, SportsAid and last but not least - her Dad.
Dannielle, who as well as her Midlands Regional Winner prize of £2,000 will receive another £8,000 over the next 3 years, beat off stiff competition from the winners of the other 9 UK regions and the Disabled Athlete and Young Star category winners to scoop the overall prize.
Dannielle is the best speed skater Great Britain has seen in decades. Earlier this season she smashed the 3 Junior National records for the distances she competes in. Dannielle is the U15 National Champion, Age Group European Champion and the British Record holder in her age group in 3 distances, 2 laps, 3 laps & 41/2 laps. She is set to represent Great Britain at the Socchi Olympics and hopes to win a medal at the 2018 Winter Games. Dannielle says that winning this award will help her ambition to go to South Korea to train and improve her technique with the Korean squad.
The 2009 OCS Young Sports Person Awards event in conjunction with SportsAid took place on 26 November at the OCS Stand at the Brit Oval in London, hosted by TV presenter and sports journalist Clare Balding. Young sporting stars from across the UK received their award from celebrity guests from a wide range of sports, including cricket, karate and rugby.