SWIMMING: A CREWE teenager has scooped the title of OCS Disabled Young Sportsperson of the Year, to add to his already burgeoning trophy cabinet.
Stuart Bloor, 16, is one of the UK's leading swimmers. The holder of seven gold and one silver medal from the 2003 National Junior Disabled Championships, he also recently broke the national junior record for the 100m backstroke.
'I'm delighted. I know other people who were nominated and to find out that I was chosen from such a great group is fantastic,' said Stuart, who suffers from spina bifida.
He received his award from the Minister for Sport, Richard Caborn, at a ceremony at the Royal Automobile Club in London. Also attending the event were 10 other regional finalists, in what is widely recognised as one of the most prestigious sports awards for young people.
A pupil at Coppenhall High School, Stuart has been largely confined to a wheelchair since birth but competes as a disabled athlete in basketball, shot put and gymnastics. He helps out as a volunteer at Crewe Seahorses Disabled Swimming Club and South West Cheshire Scouts.
Stuart beat off fierce competition from more than 500 entries to take his place at the ceremony and also received a cheque for £2,000.
Peter Kingham, competition judge and organiser at OCS, said: 'Choosing each of the regional winners was a tough challenge as the quality of entries was, as always, extremely high. Our decisions reflect the significant achievements each winner has made in their field, and their ability to combine school work with such a magnificent level of sporting commitment and prowess.
'Stuart has shown great levels of maturity and professionalism beyond his years and I wish him the best of luck in his field for the future.'
The search for the nation's brightest sports stars was launched by facilities management group OCS six years ago to recognise and support sporting potential and achievement.