SportsAid has today announced the names of the three finalists for its prestigious One-to-Watch Award, each of whom will join the charity at its SportsBall in London on November 27 where the award will be.
The finalists are Abigail Stones (taekwondo), 15 from Liverpool, Maria Lyle (disability athletics), 14 from Dunbar in East Lothian, and Morgan Lake (athletics), 17 from Bagshot in Surrey.
Abigail Stones has received financial support from SportsAid in 2012 and 2014. This year she won a gold medal at the Junior World Taekwondo Championships and a bronze medal at the Youth Olympic Games. She was also SportsAid’s athlete of the month in April.
Abigail said, "I feel so excited to be shortlisted for this award ahead of 1,300 great athletes. It is a great honour for me and both my club and GB coaches who have helped me achieve so much this year. In my sport there is little to no financial support so I have to rely on my parents to fund me but with the help of SportsAid the funding they provided it helped me to become Great Britain's first junior female taekwondo world champion in the last 16 years. The money I received helped fund my training and went towards the cost of the trip to the championships for which I am so grateful."
Maria Lyle has received financial support from SportsAid in 2013 and 2014 from Bank of Scotland Local Heroes, this year she broke several senior world records and became the senior IPC European champion in 100m and 200m (T35) in 2014.
Maria said, "I’m really pleased that people have noticed my potential and it's amazing to think I was chosen over 1,300 great athletes. The money I have received from SportsAid through the Bank of Scotland Local Heroes programme has really helped me this season. I live in Scotland and my coach lives in Merseyside so I have to travel a lot. This summer, I was able to spend time in my school holidays with him to prepare for the IPC European Championships which were being held in August. The money I received helped me do this and it was definitely worthwhile as I returned home as a double European champion."
Photo by Alistair Linford
Morgan Lake has received financial support from SportsAid in 2013 and 2014 from the Jaguar Academy of Sport, this year she won two gold medals at the IAAF Junior World Championships, one in high jump and the other in heptathlon. She also holds the British junior record in the former and the world U18 record in the latter.
Morgan said, “It is an absolute honour to have made the shortlist for this award. Out of the 1,300 athletes who could have been shortlisted I am so grateful to be named, especially among the final 10. This prestigious award is a great way to acknowledge the success of athletes supported by SportsAid. The money from SportsAid has helped a lot this year, and I have been able to put it towards increasing travel costs, medical support and equipment such as a shot putt. The money has helped a lot and has meant that I can focus on just the sport without other worries."
Photo: Action Images
To find out who wins SportsAid’s One-to-Watch Award, join the charity at the SportsBall on November 27.
Interviews and information on SportsAid
Background on SportsAid
- SportsAid is a national charity (#1111612), established in 1976, which helps young British
sportsmen and women who aspire to be our next Olympic, Paralympic, Commonwealth or world champions.
- SportsAid's patron is Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge.
- At London 2012 almost two-thirds of the British team were former recipients of SportsAid’s support, winning 20 of Team GB’s 29 gold medals and 27 of ParalympicsGB’s 34 gold medals.
- The athletes supported by SportsAid are typically aged 12 to 18 and are among Britain’s brightest hopes for the future.
- The SportsAid Awards they receive are funded by the charity’s donors and supporters. They recognise the athletes’ achievements and help them meet the high costs of training and competing, which they otherwise have to pay for themselves.
- SportsAid ensures the right people get the right help at the right time by working with the governing bodies of around 70 sporting disciplines to identify those with the greatest potential.
- As well as providing SportsAid Awards to help young athletes meet the cost of sport, SportsAid also manages the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS), which provides specialist services to athletes in higher or further education.