The three contenders for the prestigious Young Sports Personality of the Year award are announced today (in alphabetical order) as: Lucy Garner, Eleanor Simmonds and Lauren Taylor.
The trio of stars have been whittled down from an original shortlist of 10, which chairman of the judging panel John Inverdale described as '"The strongest field we've ever had for this award, it was an extremely tough decision to shorten the list down to three". The original 10 included: Liam Broady (tennis), Sally Brown (athletics), Tom Daley (diving), Jack Laugher (diving), Pat McCormack (boxing), Laura Robson (tennis) and Anthony Watson (rugby union).
The winner will be announced at BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2011 (BBC ONE, Thursday 22 December, 8 - 10pm). This live event will be held at MediaCityUK, Salford Quays.
Cyclist Lucy Garner became the Junior Road Race World Champion this year in Copenhagen, making her Britain's first medallist in the event since Nicole Cooke in 2000 and 2001. She also became 2011 Youth Commonwealth Games Road Race Champion and Team Time Trial Champion, plus the winner of the individual bronze in the Circuit Race. On the track, Lucy also won the Senior National Madison title and three silver medals in the Junior National Track Championships.
In July paralympic swimmer Eleanor Simmonds won four medals in individual events at the IPC European Swimming Championships in Berlin - two gold, a silver and a bronze. She also set two new world records in the S6 400m freestyle and SM6 200m individual medley. Eleanor won gold in 200m individual medley (SM6) at the Paralympic World Cup in Manchester and set a world record in the S6 800m Freestyle at the German Open.
Lauren Taylor won the 2011 Ladies' British Open Amateur Championship at Royal Portrush and became the youngest ever winner, breaking a record that had stood for 112 years. She went on to play against professionals in the Women's British Open at Carnoustie, scoring two creditable rounds of 74. In addition, Lauren was selected to be part of the European Team that drew 12-12 with the USA at the 2011 Junior Solheim Cup. In November, she accepted a sports scholarship in Dallas, Texas.
The award is made to the outstanding young sportsperson aged 16 or under on 1 January 2011. Previous winners include Tom daley, Andy Murray, Wayne Rooney, Eleanor Simmonds and Theo Walcott.