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Annual dinner celebrates young people in sport

8Emdad Rahman :

The Tower Hamlets Youth Sport Foundation celebrated its fourth annual Youth Awards Presentation and Fundraising Dinner by recognising the achievements of some of the boroughs most highly regarded sporting talent.

High profile guests from the world of sport turned out to meet and greet whilst also inspiring attendees by talking about their sporting success. Former West Ham and England star Trevor Sinclair said,”There’s a room full of diamonds and hopefully I can inspire some future athletes.”

Ex-England Cricketer, Alec Stewart added: “Sport has that knack of bringing people together. It brings out the best in people and these young people will be stars in the future as long as they continue their work rate. Congratulations to each and every one of them.” GB Wheelchair Rugby athlete, Andy Barrow was joined by Daniel Bell Drummond from Kent CCC who said: “I focus on doing the best and when I do that everything else falls into place. That’s the simplest and best advice I can give to anyone who aspires to do well in sport and life generally.” The star sporting personalities were outshone by the the award winners, selected from some of Tower Hamlets’ finest young athletes. Mayor John Biggs and several other Councillors and representatives of LBTH attended the event to show their support and commitment to youth sport in Tower Hamlets.

Nomeda Laukyte, winner of the Rowing Performer of the Year category, is already representing her country, and borough, in the national championships, while the overall Female performer of the year, Taslima Begum has been selected to join the GB Performance Squad for the European Championships in Malta in Weightlifting.

West Ham protege Marcus Browne won the Football Performer of the Year winner. The West Ham under 21 starlet was first recognised for his talent in the sport through the Tower Hamlets Primary District team while still a student at Lansbury Lawrence Primary School and in November 2015 he signed his first professional contract with the Hammers. The attacking midfielder and lifelong Hammer said: “It’s every boys dream to make it as a footballer and I signed my first professional contract for West Ham in November and hopefully I can improve, learn new things and be the best I can be in order to make it at the top. My advice to the aspiring stars here is do things regularly, do them properly. Don’t take time off, keep working hard and your talent will rise.”

William Andoh was crowned Male Athlete of the Year and is one of the most exciting young talents in British Athletics and boasts the title of National 200M Champion. Andoh is currently the fastest boy of his age over this distance in the world.

This year, Tower Hamlets Youth Sport Foundation introduced a new category of awards to support the emerging talent of Primary School aged athletes in the borough. Members of THYSF’s Sporting Diamonds programme, which works to identify gifted and talented children at Primary Schools, also took to the stage. The Sporting Diamonds programme receives vital support from the Canary Wharf Group and it is with the generous support of the sponsors that the Tower Hamlets Youth Sport Foundation is able to reach so many young people in the borough. The Foundation extended thanks to all those who supported the evening. Awards were sponsored by The Worshipful Company of Curriers, Chaucer, Hampden and the Worshipful Company of Coopers while many other generous supporters attended the Fundraising Dinner that followed the event.

Chris Dunne, the Chair of Trustees for the Tower Hamlets Youth Sport Foundation, spoke about how the young people being celebrated at the Awards Presentation should be proud to not only act as role models to other young people in the borough, but also as living proof that young people everywhere are capable of fantastic achievements when given opportunities like those offered by the Foundation and highlighted that to overlook such clear examples of engaged and focused young people is to do them a huge disservice.

Abdal Ahmed from Tower Hamlets Youth Sport Foundation added: “If you look around the venue tonight you cannot help but be in awe of the sheer talent. It’s simply too much for one giant room to hold. Well done to all the winners and we hope it inspired many others to take up sport in their lives.”

Bow West Councillor and Tower Hamlets Cabinet Lead for Culture Asthma Begum said: “It excites me to think that we have a number of sporting stars in this very room. The achievements tonight have been nothing but inspiring.”