SportsAid announces annual One-to-Watch Award shortlist for 2018

SportsAid is delighted to reveal 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 15 November. The annual award was launched in 2006 and looks to shine a spotlight on the outstanding achievements of Britain’s brightest young sporting prospects.
01 November, 2018

SportsAid is delighted to reveal 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 15 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.”

Here’s more information on the athletes shortlisted for this year’s One-to-Watch Award....

Aaliyah Powell (taekwondo)

16 from Huddersfield, Yorkshire

SportsAid awards in 2017 (Nelsons) and 2018 (Backing The Best)

• Gold in the women’s -46kg category at the World Taekwondo Junior Championships
• Silver in the women’s -44kg category at the ETU European Taekwondo Junior Championships
• Last eight of the women’s -49kg category at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games

“Being nominated for the One-to-Watch Award means I’m definitely doing something right! I was a bit shocked when I heard. I didn’t think I’d be in the top 10 out of everyone in the country. I wouldn’t have been able to get to certain competitions without SportsAid’s support, and that means I wouldn’t have won some of the medals I have. It’s allowed me to progress and be more noticed within the sport.<

“Taekwondo is very expensive but all of it is self-funded, I have to go to competitions all-around to be able to play against athletes of good quality to make myself better. So when I do go to big competitions, I’m not out of my depth. That’s a lot of money – it can cost up to £10,000 a year and that includes travel, hotels, competitions and then the fights themselves, equipment and other stuff.”

Calvin Tarczy (rowing)

18 from Fortis Green, London

SportsAid awards in 2017 and 2018 (GLL Sports Foundation)

*Shortlisted for a second consecutive year*

• Gold in the men’s coxless four at the FISA World Rowing Junior Championships 2018
• Gold in the men’s coxless four at the FISA World Rowing Junior Championships 2017
• Recorded 5km ergometer time of 15:57 minutes when winning Great Britain Junior Pairs trial

“To be nominated again is even more special knowing that I was selected by the sport governing body, and knowing that two years in a row they think I’m one to watch, that’s really nice. That just gives me a huge amount of confidence that this is really something to go for. It’s been so helpful having access to the SportsAid funding because rowing’s a really expensive sport.

“The stars aligned [this year] because for a lot of the events we did the conditions were perfect for breaking records. We got to the competition [World Rowing Junior Championships] and went through our heat quite easily. Again, we had really good conditions and our coach told us to go as hard as we can in the semi-final, and we managed to take 11 seconds off the world record.” 

Caroline Dubois (boxing)

17 from Chelsea, London

SportsAid awards in 2017 and 2018 (Backing The Best)

*Shortlisted for a second consecutive year*

• Gold in the women’s -60kg category at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games
• Gold in the women’s -60kg category at the AIBA Youth World Championships 2018
• Gold in the women’s -60kg category at the EUBC European Youth Continental Championships 2018

“SportsAid have helped a lot. When you go to these big competitions like a World Championships or Youth Olympic Games, you attend a number of camps which are usually quite far away, so the travelling that goes into it is very expensive. It [to be shortlisted] lets you know that you’re in the right place and you’re on track, people are recognising you and seeing that you’re one to watch.

“I had the nomination last year as well, which is a really big deal for me - to do it two years in a row. All three big events came this year and my dad was telling me before I even competed that I was a world champion and Youth Olympic champion – that confidence going into these Championships was number one for me. I knew I had the potential, and the skill, it was just up to me to put the work in.”

Dominic Ogbechie (athletics)

16, from Belsize Park, London 

SportsAid award in 2018 (GLL Sports Foundation)

TASS award in 2018/19 

• Gold in the high jump at the European Athletics Under-18s Championships
• Set a new world age-15 record of 2.22 metres at the England Age Group Indoor Athletics Championships
• Crowned English national champion at Under-17s level in both the high jump and long jump

“It’s an honour [to be shortlisted]. This is one of the first external sports awards that I’ve been invited to, so it takes a special place. It would mean an awful lot to win it because this is the first time I’ve been outright recognised for my talents. They’ve [SportsAid] been a massive help and I’d have to say that without them a lot of the progress that I’ve had wouldn’t have been the case.

“Next year my main aim is the European Athletics Under-20s Championships. I go up an age category, so will gain experience of competing with seniors. I prefer each event for different reasons but don’t have an outright favourite. I might specialise at some point but until then I’m not thinking about it. The Olympics is the aim; 2020 might be a bit too close but definitely the one after that.”

Georgia Wilson (para equestrian)

23, from Abergele, Conwy  

SportsAid awards in 2007, 2009 (SportsAid), 2010 (Variety Club), 2011 (OCS), 2017 (Realbuzz) 2018 (ICAP) 

• Fourth in Grade II in the FEI Para Dressage World Individual Ranking with 1256 points
• Plus-70% scores in Grade II classes at Hartpury, Bishop Burton and Deauville
• Selected as a reserve for Great Britain at the FEI World Equestrian Games 2018 with Midnight

“It was really exciting to find out that I have been shortlisted. Without SportsAid I wouldn’t have been able to go to France at the start of the year and all the extra funding helped me compete. It has just been a massive help and without it I wouldn’t have been able to achieve as much this year. I wasn’t expecting this to all happen because I only got Midnight [Georgia’s horse] in April.

“My dream is to go to the Paralympics and win gold, but next year I want to go to the Europeans on Midnight. If I can achieve as much I have done this year next year, then I should have a good chance of being selected for the Paralympics. It would be amazing to be selected. People don’t get those kinds of opportunities very often, so to be selected would be amazing.”

Hannah Botterman (rugby union)

19, from Luton, Bedfordshire 

SportsAid award in 2018 (RPC) 

• Key member of the England Women Under-20s who won the Tri-Nations Cup against Canada and USA
• Selected for the England Women Elite Playing Squad with a still year left at Under-20s level
• Scored the match-winning try as Saracens Women won the inaugural Tyrrells Premier 15s final

“It’s a real honour to be put forward because it’s not from within rugby – it’s all athletes over any sport. It’s nice to be recognised for the graft and how it’s all come together for me. It's nice that SportsAid show their faith in your ability to go to the top of your sport. The financial support is massive because it’s an incredible amount of money travelling to training, games and the gym. It takes the stress away.

“I’m hoping I’ll get some game time next month [for England Women in the 2018 Quilter Internationals] and it’s just about performing when I get my chance – there’s a lot of competition in my position at the moment. My aim is to get one of the pro contracts and that’s what I’m striving for. I’ve got to stay consistent and hopefully the end result will be some more caps under my belt.”

Hannah Moore (para triathlon)

22, from Stalbridge, Dorset 

SportsAid award in 2018 (Nelsons)

TASS award in 2018/19  

• Gold in the women’s PTS4 category at the ITU World Triathlon Champions 2018
• Gold in the women’s PTS4 category at the ETU European Paratriathlon Championships 2018
• Gold in the women’s PTS4 category at the ITU Paratriathlon World Cup 2018

“I’m very honoured to be nominated and shortlisted for the top 10. There are big names who have won the award before and it’s nice to be recognised and potentially put in the same bracket as some of them. It’s all been way beyond what I ever expected. I planned the British Championships at the start of the year and now I’m sat here with all these medals in such a great place.

“I’ve got a great motivation to persevere in sport and while the rules will need to change for me to get into Tokyo, I’m determined to still make it. For me help with funding is vital because with my studying I don’t have time to work. I’m not on world-class funding so it just means being able to get to competitions. Paratriathlon takes a lot of commitment and it’s great to have SportsAid behind me.”

Harri Jenkins (para athletics)

22, from Bryncoch, Neath Port Talbot

SportsAid awards in 2016 (SSE) and 2018 (Realbuzz)

• Gold in the T33 100m at the World Para Athletics European Championships 2018
• Finished fifth in the T33 100m at the World Para Athletics Grand Prix 2018
• Ranked second in the world rankings and is one of the youngest in the T33 class

“It came as a bit of a shock really. I told my mum and she said: ‘you do realise what a big deal this is?’” They’re picking from an extraordinary pool of people who are supported by SportsAid, so even to make the top 10 – it’s mad. This year has gone quite well with winning the Europeans. I’m chasing the world number one down – that’s my aim.

“We’ve got the World Championships next year, so my aim is to go and take the crown then. I think it’ll give me good prep to hopefully try and make Tokyo – if I can make some noise at the worlds that would be good. It’s always been my dream to go to a Paralympics and I haven’t done it yet, so Tokyo would be amazing. I get goosebumps thinking about it.”

Kristal Awuah (athletics) 

19, from Streatham, London 

SportsAid award in 2018 (GLL Sports Foundation) 

• Double bronze in the 100m and 4x100m relay at the IAAF World Junior Championships 2018
• Personal best of 11.16 seconds at the IAAF World Challenge Meeting puts her second on the all-time British juniors 100m list
• Selected to represent Great Britain in the 4x100m relay at the IAAF Diamond League Anniversary Games

“It’s amazing to receive this nomination. Out of so many athletes, there’s no way I thought I’d be chosen for the top 10. But I felt I had a good season and I could see why they would nominate me. It’s great to get another positive boost and add to the season I’ve had. The environment in British sprinting is so good right now. People feel you can be a successful track athlete and be from Britain.

“I’m confident in what I do and I think that comes from training hard. I don’t really let mistakes get to me or bring me down. When you’re coming up in the sport, there’s not a lot of funding for those who are just starting. There isn’t much money out there for parents and track and field is quite expensive. Funding has helped me pay for travel, accommodation and competitions."

Lucy Turmel (squash)

19, from Swilland, Suffolk 

SportsAid awards in 2015, 2016 (SportsAid Suffolk), 2017, 2018 (Backing The Best)

TASS awards in 2016/17 and 2017/18

• Gold in the women’s individual at the ESF European Junior Championships 2018
• Bronze at the WSF World Junior Individual Squash Championships 2018
• Bronze at the WSF World Junior Team Squash Championships 2017

“As an athlete you do the hard work, but to get the recognition obviously means a lot – knowing that someone like Tom Daley has won the award is a really big thing. To hear I’d been nominated was such a proud feeling and gives you a lot of confidence. SportsAid makes a massive contribution – I wouldn’t be able to compete without it – so it’s big for my development and helping me get better.

The funding makes a big difference, it’s allowed me to go full-time with squash. Flights, hotels and travelling, the costs all add up. My goal is to be world number one and world champion one day – it’s a long process and pretty much everyone aspires to that but I want to be able to reach my potential. The key for me is seeing how far I can get with the work I put in, then making the most of that.”

Here’s the list of the previous One-to-Watch Award winners since the charity launched the accolade in 2006....

2006 – Tom Daley (diving)

2007 – Andrew Brown (sailing)

2008 – Hollie Arnold (para athletics)

2009 – Jodie Williams (athletics)

2010 – Harry Martin (hockey)

2011 – Sally Brown (para athletics)

2012 – Courtney Tulloch (gymnastics)

2013 – Amber Hill (shooting)

2014 – Morgan Lake (athletics)

2015 – Emma Wilson (sailing)

2016 – Alex Yee (triathlon)

2017 – Holly Dunford (rowing)

Here’s the criteria for the One-to-Watch Award....

• Must be recommended by their sport’s national governing body.
• Must be one of the 1,000+ British athletes supported by SportsAid this year.
• Excellence in results at the international level.
• Excellence in results at the domestic level.
• British/European/world rankings.
• Membership of national squads/teams.
• Age group status, standing and years left.
• Commitment, dedication, promise (comments received from their sport’s NGB).
• Likelihood to improve in following years – performance and ranking.

Here’s the judging panel for the One-to-Watch Award....

• Chaired by Sarah Winckless MBE (Chef De Mission, Commonwealth Games England, Bahamas 2017 and Gold Coast 2018)
• Dame Katherine Grainger (Chair, UK Sport)
• Natasha Baker MBE (current Paralympic equestrian athlete)
• Matt Slater (Chief Sports Reporter, Press Association)
• Joslyn Hoyte-Smith (Chair, GB Olympians’ Association)
• Laura Eddie (National Awards Manager, SportsAid)
• Ian Braid (Managing Director, DOCIAsport)

PHOTO CREDITS

Aaliyah Powell – GB Taekwondo
Calvin Tarczy – Naomi Baker
Caroline Dubois – Buenos Aires 2018
Dominic Ogbechie – Mark Shearman
Georgia Wilson – Kevin Sparrow
Hannah Botterman – England Rugby
Hannah Moore – British Triathlon
Harri Jenkins – Ben Booth
Kristal Awuah – Kristal Awuah
Lucy Turmel – Tony Hart