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22 Nov 2023

SportsAid announces annual One-to-Watch Award shortlist for 2023

SportsAid is delighted to reveal the top 10 athletes on the shortlist for this year’s One-to-Watch Award! The annual award, supported by Royal Bank of Canada, was launched in 2006 and looks to shine a spotlight on the stories behind Britain’s brightest young sporting prospects. Each of this year’s finalists will receive in-person visits at their training environments to congratulate them on their outstanding achievements with the overall winner being announced in December.

The success of the One-to-Watch Award’s illustrious ‘Hall of Fame’ speaks for itself as previous victors, including Tom Daley OBE, Hollie Arnold MBE, Jodie Williams, Courtney Tulloch, Morgan Lake, Emma Wilson and Alex Yee MBE, have already amassed over 50 senior medals from Olympic and Paralympic Games, World and European Championships, as well as Commonwealth Games, firmly establishing themselves as household names in British sport. 

Last year, powerlifter Mark Swan was presented with the One-to-Watch Award by para swimming superstar Ellie Challis, who received the accolade herself in 2019, having claimed gold in the men’s -65kg category at the European Open Para Powerlifting Championships, followed by silver for Team England in the men’s lightweight category at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

“It means a lot to me,” said Mark, who was supported by SportsAid through the Backing The Best programme with Sport England, upon receiving the award in 2022. “Just to have the backing from SportsAid, it gave me the great opportunity to push me to where I am now. I want to try and push the charity forward and show that they’re doing such a great thing in helping young athletes such as myself. There’s more motivation than there ever has been….at Paris 2024 I’m going to really try and get that gold medal.”

One-to-Watch Award 2023 shortlisted athletes

The One-to-Watch Award shortlist for this year includes world, European, Commonwealth and national champions in their respective sports….

• Alice Casburn, 21, from Norwich, Norfolk – Equestrian
• Amelie Tsang, 17, from Bromley, Greater London – Fencing
• Archie Atkinson, 19, from Heaton Moor, Greater Manchester – Para Cycling
• Freia Challis, 15, from Halstead, Essex – BMX
• Greta Roeser, 18, from Guildford, Surrey – Canoeing
• Isabella Brown, 19, from Ashford, Middlesex – Weightlifting
• Jonah Bryant, 18, from Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex – Squash
• Kris Kim, 16, from Worcester Park, Greater London – Golf
• Madeline Down, 16, from Selly Oak, West Midlands – Para Athletics
• Yemi Mary John, 19, from Woodford, Essex – Athletics

The 10 athletes have been selected from around 1,000 rising British stars, supported by SportsAid, across more than 60 different sports during 2023. 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.

Skeet shooter Amber Hill was presented with the One-to-Watch Award by Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales, the Patron of SportsAid, back in 2013. Many SportsAid alumni have returned to hand over the award such as Sir Matthew Pinsent, Sir Steve Redgrave, Sir Mo Farah, Victoria Pendleton CBE, Steve Backley OBE, Sir Ben Ainslie, Christine Ohuruogu MBE, Ellie Simmonds OBE and Greg Rutherford MBE.

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

Alice Casburn

Alice Casburn
21, from Norwich, Norfolk

• Seventh place at the Burghley International three-day event (open age group)
• Seventh place at the Thorsesby Park 4* International (open age group) 
• Eighteenth place at the Badminton International 5* three-day event (open age group)

Amelie Tsang

Amelie Tsang
17, from Bromley, Greater London

• Gold in the women’s individual foil at the World Junior and Cadet Fencing Championships    
• Gold in the women’s individual foil at the British Fencing Championships (senior) 
• Silver in the women’s individual foil at the EFC Cadet Championships (Cabries event)

Archie Atkinson

Archie Atkinson
Para Cycling
19, from Heaton Moor, Greater Manchester

• Gold in the men’s C4 Scratch Race at the UCI Cycling World Championships (senior)
• Bronze in the men’s C4 Road Race at the UCI Cycling World Championships (senior)
• Fifth in the men’s C4 Individual Time Trial at the UCI Cycling World Championships (senior)

Freia Challis

Freia Challis
15, from Halstead, Essex

• Gold in the women’s race at the UCI BMX Racing World Championships (15 years)
• Gold in the women’s race at the UEC BMX Racing European Championships (15 years)
• Gold in the women’s race at the UEC BMX Racing European Cup (15/16 years) 

Greta Roeser

Greta Roeser
18, from Guildford, Surrey

• Gold in the women’s K1 5,000m at the ICF Junior Canoe Sprint World Championships
• Silver in the women’s K1 Long Course (17.7km) at the ICF Junior Canoe Sprint World Championships
• Gold in the women’s K1 Short Course at the ECA Junior Canoe Marathon European Championships 

Isabella Brown

Isabella Brown
19, from Ashford, Middlesex

• Bronze in the women’s 76kg category at the EWF European Junior and U23 Weight Lifting Championships 
• Silver in the women’s 76kg category at the British Weight Lifting Championships (senior) 
• Ranked third in Europe and eighth in the world in the 76kg category at junior level

Jonah Bryant

Jonah Bryant 
18, from Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex

• Gold in the men’s singles event at the ESF European U19 Individual and Mixed Team Championships 
• Gold in the mixed team event at the ESF European U19 Individual and Mixed Team Championships
• Silver in the men’s singles event at the British Junior Open Championships 

Kris Kim

Kris Kim    
16, from Worcester Park, Greater London

• Won the Junior Ryder Cup with Team Europe by a record margin (Kris won 3.5pts from 4)
• Won the R&A Boys’ Amateur title (U18) 
• Won the EGA European Boys Team Championships (U18) and set new course-record

Maddie Down

Madeline Down
Para Athletics
16, from Selly Oak, West Midlands

• Gold in the women’s T38 100m at the Trinidad and Tobago Commonwealth Youth Games 
• Gold in the women’s T38 long jump at the Trinidad and Tobago Commonwealth Youth Games
• Gold in the women’s T38 100m and long jump at the England Athletics National Championships (U17) 

Yemi Mary John

Yemi Mary John
20, from Woodford, Essex 

• Gold in the women’s 400m at the European Athletics U23 Championships 
• Silver in the 4x400m mixed relay at the IAAF World Athletics Championships (senior) 
• Bronze in the 4x400m women’s relay at the IAAF World Athletics Championships (senior) 


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)
• 2018 – Caroline Dubois (boxing)
• 2019 – Ellie Challis (para swimming) 
• 2022 – Mark Swan (powerlifting) 

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 (Olympic bronze medallist in rowing and former Chef De Mission for Commonwealth Games England)
• Ama Agbeze (Commonwealth Games gold medallist in netball)
• Nick Hope (Award-winning Olympic and Paralympic broadcaster) 
• Adam Murphy (National Awards Manager, SportsAid)
• Alice Radford (Head of Policy and Culture, SportsAid) 


Alice Casburn - with thanks to Alice Casburn
Amelie Tsang - with thanks to British Fencing
Archie Atkinson - with thanks to British Cycling
Freia Challis - with thanks to Freia Challis
Greta Roeser - with thanks to British Canoeing
Isabella Brown - with thanks to British Weight Lifting
Jonah Bryant - with thanks to England Squash
Kris Kim - with thanks to European Golf Association
Madeline Down - with thanks to British Athletics


SportsAid’s mission is to encourage, enable and empower the next generation of British athletes to achieve their ambitions in sport and life! Over 1,000 talented young sports stars - the vast majority aged 12 to 18 - are nominated to SportsAid each year to receive financial support and a range of personal development opportunities. These athletes are the country’s brightest prospects having been selected and put forward to the charity by the national governing bodies of more than 60 sports.

The support from SportsAid acts as a real motivational boost as it is often the first recognition they are given outside of their support network. Most of the athletes also rely heavily on their parents as they have no other funding. The typical value of a SportsAid award is £1,000 and the charity works hard every year to try and ensure each nominated athlete is given the support they deserve. This includes workshop sessions, both online and in-person, where athletes are offered mentoring by Olympians and Paralympians, as well as gaining advice from industry experts on mental wellbeing, practical nutrition, restful sleep and telling your story through the media to help with raising their profile. 

Since 1976, SportsAid has supported tens of thousands of athletes by distributing over £50 million in awards. The charity's extensive alumni stretches across the generations with Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, Sir Mo Farah, Baroness Grey-Thompson, Dame Sarah Storey, Sir Steve Redgrave, Dame Katherine Grainger, Daley Thompson CBE, Dame Denise Lewis, Dame Laura Kenny, Ellie Simmonds OBE, Adam Peaty OBE, Natasha Baker OBE and Tom Daley OBE all stand-out names.

SportsAid’s impressive track record was highlighted at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games where the charity’s alumni won 141 medals. This included 47 of Team GB’s 65 medals (14 gold, 19 silver, 14 bronze) and 94 of ParalympicsGB’s 124 medals (26 gold, 33 silver and 35 bronze). SportsAid beneficiaries also recently had huge success at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games where they won 186 medals – 57 gold, 59 silver and 70 bronze – across 20 sports. There were 474 recipients of the charity’s support representing the home nations in the West Midlands. 

SportsAid is incredibly proud to have Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales as the charity’s Patron. Her Royal Highness has met many talented young athletes helped by the charity, as well as Olympians and Paralympians who were previous beneficiaries, at training days, performance workshops and fundraising events. Her Royal Highness has been the charity’s Patron since 2013. 

SportsAid also manages the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) and Backing The Best (BTB) programme on behalf of Sport England. TASS helps athletes (16-plus) balance sport with the rest of their lives, while BTB supports the most financially challenged young sports stars. In addition, the charity has recently been given responsibility to manage and oversee the Diploma in Sporting Excellence (known as DiSE). DiSE supports talented young athletes to combine sport and education (academic or vocational) so they have the skills, knowledge and qualifications to pursue a career in high-level sport alongside separate paid employment in the future.