Paralympic swimming champion Alice Tai has won the Youth Sport Trust Young Sportsperson of the Year award at the Lycamobile British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards.
Alice, 18, from New Milton near Bournemouth, shone in the pool in Rio last September by winning a bronze medal in the S10 100m backstroke, and followed it up with a gold medal in the women’s 400m medley relay.
She beat off tough competition from Lancashire and England cricketer Haseeb Hameed and rising taekwondo star Harleen Kaur to win the prestigious award, which was presented at the London Hilton on Park Lane by Youth Sport Trust Chief Executive Alison Oliver, YST Ambassador Jason Gardener, and YST Girls Active advocate Fadumo Olow.
Alice was born with club foot, and underwent many operations to correct this as a child. Her ankles are fused at 90 degrees which limits her movement, but after starting swimming at age six, she now has two Paralympic medals to add to the four world championship medals she won in Glasgow in 2015 – all while maintaining her studies at school and college.
Alice joined other star winners on the night, including double Rio gold medallist athlete Sir Mo Farah, and dual-sport Paralympic champion Kadeena Cox, who won the Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year awards respectively.
Youth Sport Trust Chief Executive Alison Oliver said:
We offer our congratulations to Alice on winning this award. To achieve what she has done on a worldwide stage at such a young age is incredible, and to balance that alongside her education is an outstanding achievement.
“At the Youth Sport Trust, we are proud to sponsor this award, as we are committed to ensuring every young person has the opportunity to access high quality PE, sport and physical activity, regardless of gender, ethnicity, ability or background, and are proud to be working in partnership with Sporting Equals. The British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards are a wonderful way of profiling and celebrating diversity and achievement in and through sport.”