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Inspired sporting youth

Author : Tim Fryer

30 November 2011

I spent one thoroughly enjoyable day out last week at the OCS Young Sports Person Awards. This event was originally devised as a useful way of combining a contribution to society (one of the earlier examples of CSR!) and an event to bring OCS closer to its customers.

Nathan Stephens and Sally Brown

However, as the years have progressed the awards (this is the 14th year) have grown into a programme that recognises some remarkably talented and dedicated young sports people, and also provides a valuable source of funding so that they can further their ambitions in their chosen sport. The inspiration these young people provide not just for their peers but for all around them is not something that I am sure is lost on OCS and its partners. So for all the results of the competition are not directly relevant to facilities management, I couldn’t help but run the winners details here.

16 year old sprint athlete Sally Brown from Ballykelly was named the overall winner of the OCS Young Sports Person Awards 2011. Paralympic field athlete Nathan Stephens, who was himself an OCS Young Sports Person Awards winner in 2005, presented Sally with her prize. Speaking of her award, Sally commented: “Making great achievements in my sport has always been a dream and it’s a bit strange now that it’s all coming true!”

Winner of the OCS Young Sports Person Awards Disability Category for Ireland, Sally beat off stiff competition from ten regional and three other Disability Category winners to take the overall winner title for 2011. She will receive £10,000 through the scheme over the next three years.

Born with her left hand and part of her arm missing, Sally is one of the youngest members of the GB Paralympic athletics squad for 2012. She took bronze at this year’s Paralympic World Cup event in Manchester, in addition to a gold and silver medal at the World Junior Championships.

In her classification (T46), Sally currently holds the No.1 UK ranking for both 100m and 200m, as well as a senior IPC World Ranking of No.4 in 200m and No.7 in 100m. She has proved her ability to compete in both non-disabled and disabled athletics at the highest level. In non-disabled athletics, this year she has achieved a No.2 ranking in Northern Ireland and Ulster for U17 300m and was selected to compete for the Ulster relay team at the All-Ireland finals.

The 2011 OCS Young Sports Person Awards event in conjunction with SportsAid took place on 24th November at the OCS Stand at the Kia Oval in London, hosted by BBC sports commentator Clare Balding. Young sporting stars from across the UK received their award from sporting personalities including David Gower OBE, Rory Underwood MBE, Kate Howey MBE and Iwan Thomas MBE.

Of the previous regional finalists who have received funding from OCS, there are 21 who may have progressed to Olympic level in time for the London Olympics. 2012 will come a bit early for this year’s winners (Sally apart) but here is a full list of them – they may be the names to look out for in the future!

Disability Category Northern Ireland and National Winner - Sally Brown, Athletics
16 year old athlete Sally is one of the youngest members of the GB Paralympics squad for 2012. She was also one of the youngest to compete in the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships. She represented the Aviva GB & NI team in the Czech Republic IWAS World Junior Championships last year and currently holds the No.1 UK ranking for both 100m and 200m in her classification.

Runner Up - Bethy Firth, Swimming. Runner Up - James McSorley, Wheelchair Basketball.

Disability Category for England - Rafael Bagott, Swimming
14 year old Rafael started out in swimming at a young age. He currently holds a gold medal from the Burns Meet in Sheffield earlier this year as well a gold medal as part of a relay team – the first time a relay gold medal has been won in the North East for over 10 years. He also took gold in the 50m freestyle at the UK school games in September.

Runner Up - Lauren Rathbone, Equestrian. Runner Up - Ben Fox, Wheelchair Basketball.

Disability Category for Scotland – Conor Gordon, Table Tennis
15 year old Conor has only been playing table tennis for two years. In that short time he has risen through the ranks and now plays for the Scottish national squad. He took silver at the Scottish Table Tennis Championships as well as bronze at The Michael Hawkesworth Championships.

Runner Up - Lucy Walkup, Swimming. Runner Up - Kieran Steer, Boccia.

Disability Category for Wales – Georgia Wilson, Equestrian
Para equestrian Georgia, 15, has been involved in riding horses since the age of two. In 2010 she won five major competitions including the Moorsele Belgium U21s Para Dressage Grade 3, the British Para National Championships at Hickstead Grade 3, and three Millfield Junior International competitions at Grade 3.

Runner Up - Jonathan Eke, Swimming. Runner Up - Jordan Howe, Athletics.

London East – Jimi Tele, Triple Jump
17 year old Jimi recently smashed his personal best at the English Schools Athletics Championships for triple jump. In the last few years he has won 8 gold medals for his sport. He took gold at the competition and achieved a silver medal at the Isle of Man Commonwealth Youth Games. He is the England Athletics U17M Outdoor Champion and currently ranked #1 in the UK.

Runner Up - Lewis Roskilly, Tennis. Runner Up - William Bettle, Fencing.

London M25 – Alex Thomas,Taekwondo
15 year old Alex has been playing taekwondo since she was five and is now a five times national champion, a 2nd Dan black belt, a British international champion and a National champion. She has gold medals from the Park Pokal in 2009, the 2010 Swedish Open Cadet and the 2010 British International Junior competition.

Runner Up - Abigail Mills, Football. Runner Up - Alice MacAulay, Skiing.

Midlands – Violet Miller, Skiing
16 year old skier Violet splits her time between living in the UK and Italy as part of the Ambition Race team in Bormio. Her specialities include Giant Slalom and Downhill, an event that requires racers to have considerable strength and high speed technical expertise. She is currently in the Junior British Alpine Team.

Runner Up - Craig Smith, Badminton. Runner Up - Jade Rogers, Windsurfing.

North East – Jess Leyden, Rowing
16 year old rower Jess holds a raft of gold and silver medals from her sport, including achievements at inter-regional and national competitions such as the Boston Marathon (50km) in a WJ17 Double Scull which she completed in record time. She also took part in the Junior World Championships at Dorney Lake, as a test run for the Olympics. Her junior women’s squad placed 7th overall.

Runner Up - Molly-Jo Watson, Boxing. Runner Up - Michael Thompson, Mountain Biking.

North West – Sam Horrocks, Swimming
17 year old Sam gained his first national qualifying times for swimming aged 14, and in his first ever national competition achieved two silver medals. He has broken records for different events at all levels and he is currently the 17/18 year old national 100m butterfly champion.

Runner Up - Dean Rooney, Boxing. Runner Up - Iain McKellar, Volleyball.

Northern Ireland – Lucy McKee, Hockey
16 year old hockey player Lucy has been one of the Irish team’s key goal scorers for the past three seasons, leading them to fifth place at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010. She recently competed in the U18 European’s, finishing in 4th position and also took a silver medal at the UK School Games after scoring four goals and just missing out to England.

Runner Up - Sarah Beck, Gymnastics. Runner Up - Aine McCann, Orienteering.

Scotland – Darren Campbell, Water Polo
17 year old Darren has been playing water polo for 11 years after his father, who used to play as a goalkeeper, encouraged him and his brothers to take up the sport. He is currently the captain of the Scotland Junior team and was recently voted Young Scottish Water Polo Player of the Year by the National Association. He has won British Cup youth and junior gold medals in addition to a junior silver medal.

Runner Up - Fraser McGlone, Mountain Biking. Runner Up - Oliver Carruthers, Sprint Kayaking.

South East – Georgia Peel, Athletics
16 year old Georgia started in athletics aged eight after joining the local junior trackers club. She now competes in both 800m and 1500m races, switching to cross country in the winter months. Georgia took gold in the Aviva English Schools Championships intermediate girl 800m race and the U15 800m at the Southern Counties U15/U17 Championships.

Runner Up - Deveena Pithia, Cricket. Runner Up - Becky Curtis-Harris, Athletics.

South West – Saskia Sills, Windsurfing
15 year old windsurfer Saskia currently holds the world champion title for the U17 category in her sport. She took the title in July at the Techno 293 Windsurfing World Championships held in San Francisco. She has been windsurfing since the age of 7 and has been competing since the age of 9.

Runner Up - Christopher Perham, Triathlon. Runner Up - Sapphire Dallard, Trampolining.

Wales – Kayleigh Silva, Gymnastics
15 year old gymnast Kayleigh has been competing in her sport since the age of six. She recently took part in the British Championships and became British Champion for Group 2 at FIG Level. She is also the recent winner of the Welsh Open and Closed Championships, qualifying first in the 2011 Slovak Open and second in the 2011 French Open Championships.

Runner Up - Elin Harlow, Squash. Runner Up - Daniel Ellis, Waterski.

Young Star – Angus Davidson, Climbing
12 year old Angus tried out climbing at his local centre and quickly developed a passion for the sport. He is part of the British youth team and is the youngest player to have ever made the squad. He won the 2010 British Lead Climbing Championships in his age group (11-13).

Runner Up - Fee Teng Liew, Badminton. Runner Up - Jasper Dallard, Trampolining.



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