15-year-old para-swimming sensation Ellie Challis wins SportsAid's One-to-Watch award

Ellie Challis was awarded the prestigious prize by Dame Katherine Grainger (twitter:TeamSportsAid)
7:20am, Wed 20 Nov 2019
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Ellie Challis has won the SportsAid One-to-Watch award at the charity’s Celebrate the Next event.

The 15-year-old para-swimmer from Little Clacton, Essex was awarded the accolade by Dame Katherine Grainger and now joins a star-studded list of winners including Tom Daley and Hollie Arnold.

Challis, who lost her limbs after suffering meningitis as a toddler, enjoyed a hugely successful 2019 winning bronze in the women's S3 Backstroke and also finished fifth, eighth and 10th across multiple classifications at the IPC World Para Swimming Championships. In the process, she set one world and two European records.

“I was so shocked when I heard my name read out as the winner,” said Challis, who has been helped by SportsAid's Backing The Best programme. “It's blown me away to hear about all the amazing achievements of the other athletes and then realise I'm the one who has won the award!”

Canoeist Daniel Atkins, 18, came second with sprinter Amy Hunt, 17, claiming third.

The reamaining 7 athletes (listed below) were also celebrated at the event in London:

Aaliyah Powell (17) – Taekwondo (shortlisted for a second consecutive year)

AbdAllah Eissa (13) – Squash

Antonia Bunyan (19) – Goalball

Charlie Aldridge (18) – Cycling

Enriko Itauma (14) – Boxing

Karim Chan (19) – Para Athletics

Katie Shanahan (15) – Swimming

The One-to-Watch Award launched in 2006 and has since gained a strong reputation for identifying Britain's future sporting stars.