SportsAid is delighted to announce Alex Yee amongst the 10 athletes on the shortlist for this year’s One-to-Watch Award.
The annual award, set to be presented at the charity’s 40th anniversary SportsBall in London on 24 November, was launched in 2006 with six of the previous recipients competing for Great Britain across the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer.
Tom Daley received the charity’s very first One-to-Watch Award in 2006 when he was just 12 years old. Since then, fellow winners have included para-athlete Hollie Arnold, hockey player Harry Martin, sprinter Jodie Williams and heptathlete Morgan Lake. Last year’s victor was sailor Emma Wilson who won gold at the RS:X 2014 Youth World Windsurfing Championships.
Alex, who received SportsAid awards in 2013, 2014 and 2016 (Dave Aitchison Fund), has risen through the ranks in 2016. Known for his blistering run speed, he recently clawed back over a minute on the pack during the ITU Triathlon World Junior Championships in Cozumel, finishing in 5th. Earlier in the year he took gold at the ITU Duathlon World Junior Championships 2016 before picking up bronze at the Quarteira ETU Triathlon Junior European Cup. His accolades don't stop with multi-sport, having finished 9th at the IAAF World Junior Championshipsin the 5000m. He is most certainly a bright prospect for the future.
It’s amazing to see my name on the shortlist among so many other fantastic athletes in Great Britain. It’s a massive honour for me.
He said, "It’s amazing to see my name on the shortlist among so many other fantastic athletes in Great Britain. It’s a massive honour for me. I’ve been supported by the Dave Aitchison Fund through SportsAid for three years. Triathlon is not the cheapest sport in the world with the bikes, the wet suits and all the equipment. The support is essential and without it, there are a lot of opportunities we wouldn’t be able to take so I feel very lucky. As an athlete I have benefited an awful lot from the support of SportsAid - having them behind me is invaluable.”
The 10 athletes shortlisted have been selected from 1,100 rising British stars supported by SportsAid across more than 60 different sports during 2016. 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 for the award is chaired by Sarah Winckless, a retired Olympic rower who won bronze in the double sculls in Athens in 2004, with representatives from Sport England, UK Sport, English Institute of Sport, the Press Association and the British Athletes Commission. Para-archer Danielle Brown, a double Paralympic gold medallist, joined the panel this year.
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. Over the years, many SportsAid alumni have returned to present the award including Matthew Pinsent, Steve Redgrave, Victoria Pendleton, Steve Backley, Ben Ainslie, Christine Ohuruogu, Max Whitlock and Kristian Thomas.
A shortlist of three athletes will be announced on Thursday 17 November.
The 2016 One-to-Watch Award shortlist:
Alex Yee, 18, from London - triathlon
Ashleigh Pittaway, 16 from Munich (lives in Bath) - skeleton
Bradly Sinden, 18, from Doncaster - taekwondo
Dan Whiteley, 18, from Bangor - sailing
Gregg Warburton, 19, from Leigh - wheelchair basketball
Harry Huang, 15, from Bedford - badminton
Kelsea Purchell, 18, from Exeter - bobsleigh
Madi Rowlands, 16, from Maidstone - skiing
Niamh Emerson, 17, from Alfreton - athletics
Tom Derbyshire, 18, from Stafford - swimming