In a glittering ceremony on Friday 16th June at Taunton Rugby Club, ITV’s Somerset correspondent, Ben McGrail, presented awards to the county’s inspirational sporting volunteers and coaches, outstanding athletes and quality clubs at the SASP 2017 Somerset Sports Awards.
The TS5C Young Sportsperson of the Year Award, sponsored by sport’s charity TS5C, was presented to 16 year old sailor, Jamie Harris from Axbridge.
The award is given to one of TS5C’s athletes who has excelled in their chosen sport over the last 12 months. Despite stiff competition, Jamie was a worthy winner: he was crowned Cadet World Champion in Argentina and subsequently presented with a Pride of Somerset Award. His successful transition to the 420 Class and a third place finish in the U17 Boys selection event means that he has gained a place in the 420 GBR team going to the European Championships in Athens this summer.
Jamie was presented the trophy by last year’s winner, wheelchair athlete Jamie Edwards. Jamie Harris is a member of the BCYC sailing club based at Cheddar Watersports, he said: “I can’t believe I have won the award as Brodie and Bertie, the other finalists, have achieved so much this year. Huge thanks to Alan and all at TS5C, my sailing club and my family.”
With his sights set firmly on the Commonwealth Games next year, 17 year old swimmer, Brodie Williams, from Street, was presented with an ‘Outstanding Achievement’ award. With some record fastest times under his belt for backstroke, Brodie has been selected to represent GB in the World Junior Championships in Indianapolis at the end of August 2017. Brodie said on collecting his award: “I feel very proud to represent TS5C and to win the outstanding achievement award means a lot. I am sincerely grateful for TS5C’s support over the last three years.”
Unfortunately 13 year old table tennis player from Bridgwater, Bertie Williams, was unable to attend but will be presented with his ‘Highly Commended’ certificate and cheque in due course.
On announcing the awards Alan Gloak, the Chairman of TS5C, highlighted the importance of providing funding for the county’s young athletes. “It is now, in the early days of their sports careers, that funding is so important. Athletes at the top of their field receive funding, but there is virtually nothing at the grass roots level. The costs of training, specialist equipment and attending
competitions are daunting for any family, yet essential if a young person is to achieve their full potential. TS5C is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and I am proud to say that we have made a significant contribution to meeting these costs through our grants to 140 young athletes in a variety of sports over the last decade.”