SportsAid has revealed the 10 athletes on the shortlist for this year’s One-to-Watch Award. The winner will be announced at the charity’s SportsBall, sponsored by Royal Bank of Canada, in London on Thursday 15th November. The annual award was launched in 2006 and looks to shine a spotlight on the achievements of Britain’s brightest young sporting prospects.
The One-to-Watch Award has an outstanding ‘Hall of Fame’ with double Olympic bronze medallist Tom Daley winning the inaugural title when he was just 12-years-old. Paralympic champion Hollie Arnold MBE claimed the accolade in 2008 with para-athlete Sally Brown, hockey player Harry Martin, heptathlete Morgan Lake and sprinter Jodie Williams among the previous victors.
“I won the first One-to-Watch Award and I remember going on stage with Matthew Pinsent [who presented the award] and feeling so small – he was towering above me!” said Tom. “I went there with my dad and a trip to London was big for us in itself. Receiving that award and getting the recognition was the first time I’d ever stood in front of so many people wearing something other than my trunks.
“People were clapping for my achievements and this was at the time that London 2012 had just been announced – I remembered that moment being the start of something exciting. Looking back at what I’ve achieved, that was really a breakthrough moment for me when my diving career took off. It takes a lot of time, effort and commitment [to be a successful athlete] so I have SportsAid to thank for a lot.”
The One-to-Watch Award shortlist for 2018 includes Youth Olympians and five junior world champions with many European and national accolades won by the nominees. Each of the athletes has been invited to attend the upcoming SportsBall to celebrate their achievements.
Aaliyah Powell, 16, from Huddersfield – taekwondo
Calvin Tarczy, 18, from Fortis Green – rowing (shortlisted for a second consecutive year)
Caroline Dubois, 17, from Chelsea – boxing (shortlisted for a second consecutive year)
Dominic Ogbechie, 16, from Belsize Park – athletics
Georgia Wilson, 23, from Abergele – para equestrian
Hannah Botterman, 19, from Luton – rugby union
Hannah Moore, 22, from Stalbridge – para triathlon
Harri Jenkins, 22, from Neath – para athletics
Kristal Awuah, 19, from Streatham – athletics
Lucy Turmel, 19, from Swilland – squash
The 10 athletes have been selected from around 1,000 rising British stars supported by SportsAid across more than 60 different sports during 2018. Each year, athletes are nominated by their sport’s governing body on the strength of their talent and potential, demonstrating why the One-to-Watch Award has gained such a strong reputation for identifying the best up-and-coming prospects.
The judging panel features Olympic bronze medallist Sarah Winckless MBE (chair), Dame Katherine Grainger, Britain’s most decorated female Olympian, Natasha Baker MBE, a five-time Paralympic champion, Matt Slater, the Press Association’s Chief Sports Reporter, Joslyn Hoyte-Smith of the GB Olympians’ Association, Ian Braid, Managing Director of DOCIAsport, and SportsAid’s Laura Eddie.
Skeet shooter Amber Hill was presented with the One-to-Watch Award by Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge, the Patron of SportsAid, in 2013. Many SportsAid alumni have returned to hand over the award including Sir Matthew Pinsent, Sir Steve Redgrave, Sir Mo Farah, Victoria Pendleton CBE, Steve Backley OBE, Sir Ben Ainslie and Christine Ohuruogu MBE.
Last year, rower Holly Dunford received the One-to-Watch Award from Ellie Simmonds OBE, a SportsAid beneficiary in 2007, after a sensational 12 months saw her win gold at the World Junior Rowing Championships in the women’s double with Zoe Adamson. Holly, who also set the new British record for junior women on the ergometer over 2km and 5km, was over the moon to win the award.
“It’s a privilege to be next to names like Tom Daley and Morgan Lake, especially seeing what they’ve gone on to do,” said Holly upon receiving the award. “This is the icing on the cake. All my achievements in rowing this year have led to this and it’s great to be recognised. SportsAid’s help has been great, paying for petrol, kit, lots of things – I wouldn’t be where I am this year without them.”
Fore more information on the athletes shortlisted for this year’s One-to-Watch Award, please click here.