Ebonie Jones from Portsmouth, Hampshire has won the 2013 OCS Young Sportsperson of the Year Award.
The award was made to the 15-year-old boxing star at the 2013 OCS Young Sportsperson Awards ceremony at City Hall in London, which was hosted by BBC Sport commentator and former international gymnast, Gabby Logan, who congratulated all the award winners on their achievement.
Also on the winners’ podium were fencer Chloe Dickson; basketball player James MacSorley, gymnast Louise McColgan, snowboarder Lewis Courtier-Jones, athlete Isaac Towers, swimmer Coral Farrell, cyclist Megan Barker, sprinter Nathan Blackie, volleyball players Ellena Austin and Justin Phillips, and Tae Kwon Do specialist Nithin Fransis who won regional awards.
Over the last 16 years, total facilities management provider OCS has granted sports bursaries of over £500,000 to more than 200 athletes through its Young Sports Person (YSP) Awards initiative. For the last four years, OCS has worked with SportsAid, the charity which supports around 2,000 disabled and non-disabled athletes in the UK each year, to identify who should receive the support.
The London 2012 Olympic Games saw several OCS YSP Award winners successfully competing for Team GB, including the medal winning gymnasts Sam Oldham, Louis Smith and Beth Tweddle. Since the London Olympics, several previous winners of OCS awards have gone on to achieve international athletic success, including Non Stanford, who became the 2013 International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Triathlon Champion after the ITU meeting in London’s Hyde Park in September.
“Congratulations to Ebonie Jones and to all OCS Young Sportsperson Award winners. I also want to pass on my thanks and best wishes to the people who help our young athletes in different ways, especially their parents and supporters,” said Martin Gammon, chief executive officer for UK and Europe and at OCS.
The aim of the OCS Young Sports Persons Awards is to give emerging young athletes a combination of recognition and practical support which will ease the strain of training, travelling and competing.
“We want to support athletes as they develop their careers and make the transition to elite sport. This year, as ever, it has been tremendous to share the success and passion of the young athletes with our customers and staff,” said Martin Gammon.
“Parents are often the sole sponsor of a young athlete in the early stages of their career and a small amount of financial assistance at that time can make a big difference. OCS has made an important contribution by helping athletes to fulfil their potential and we are proud to work with them,” said Tim Lawler, chief executive of SportsAid.