Page last updated at 13:30 GMT, Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Ore talks Sports Personality with School Reporters

The School Reporters listen to Ore
Caitlin, Manjit, Rojina and Sara listen to Ore's answers on speakerphone at St John Wall Catholic School

The shortlist of 10 young sporting stars has been narrowed down to just three in the race for the BBC's Young Sports Personality of the Year award.

Diving superstar Tom Daley, sprint sensation Jodie Williams and weightlifting prodigy Zoe Smith made the cut after hours of deliberations.

Sportsround presenter Ore Oduba, who was on the judging panel, spoke to some of the young journalists who devised the questions to put to all 10 nominees earlier on in the competition.

School Reporters Sara, Manjit, Rojina and Caitlin from St John Wall Catholic School in Handsworth, Birmingham, were keen to find out about Ore's selection criteria - as well as his his musical tastes.

Q: How easy was it to choose the top three contenders for Young Sports Personality of the Year?

It was not easy at all! You have to say a massive congratulations to everyone who made the top 10 - it was definitely harder this year than it was last year.

Someone like Ellie Simmonds who won it in 2008 didn't even make the top 10 this time, even though she still had a great year.

We were discussing for about an hour-and-a-half just to get the list of 10 down to three - it was excruciating!. When you've got the likes of Laura Robson, who has shot up the senior women's rankings in tennis and someone like the table tennis player Liam Pitchford, and they don't make it, it just shows how competitive it is.

It came down to really fine details - they are all competing at the top of their game on the world stage!

Q: What was your sporting highlight of the year?

I have been so lucky to get to so many sporting events this year so I'm going to have to be greedy with this question.

In the words of Cheryl Cole, Beth Tweddle absolutely smashed it!

I got to go to the World Cup final in South Africa - and that doesn't even make my list!

So what I'm going to do is give you my best event and then my best moment of the year. My best event was the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore.

It was the first ever Youth Olympics and it really felt like it was as close to an Olympics as you could get without it being the real thing. You had thousands of athletes from every Olympic country there (bar one) - so it was just a massive event.

The whole of Singapore was really taken with it and it was just a real honour to be there.

Newsround presenter Ore
Alongside Ore, the panel also included Jake Humphrey and Helen Skelton

But my highlight might be a bit of a surprise - it was watching Beth Tweddle win her third gymnastics world championship gold medal in Rotterdam in October. She is 25 now and some people say that's pretty old for a gymnast.

The two gymnasts that went before Beth on the asymmetric bars were Chinese and the favourites for the gold. You had thousands of gymnastics fans there and all eyes were on this event. They both fell, but that meant that there was so much pressure on Beth.

In the words of Cheryl Cole, she absolutely smashed it! It was a faultless routine. I was right opposite the bars and you could just see the sheer ability you need to be a world champion.

Gymnasts really make it look easy but when you're there watching it, you can really see how difficult it is.

When she made her perfect dismount, the crowd went crazy and we were just there in awe!

Q: We heard you're a big U2 fan - what is your favourite U2 song?

Tricky, tricky tricky. I'm going to choose from a top three of Beautiful Day, Pride (In the Name of Love) or Magnificent from the new album.

I'd probably go for Beautiful Day - it's just such a great song!

Q: Who is your role model?

My sporting role model would probably have to be David Beckham - he is the perfect professional and made a huge career out of not just playing football very well, but also being an ambassador for the whole sport.

People all over the world know who he is and the way he has conducted himself has been brilliant.

David Beckham in his Manchester United days
Beckham has long been a hero of Ore's

When I was growing up and wanting to be a footballer - with the slight problem that I was really bad at football - he was the guy I aspired to be. Unfortunately I fell short of that plan...

The other role model I've got - and I told him this myself last week - is Mr Jake Humphrey.

He's incredible and a real hero of mine. I've been watching him for years and I remember getting up to watch Sportsound before Football Focus and it was just the perfect start to a Saturday.

To see him bridge the gap as a career between CBBC and now being the F1 presenter is something really special.

He did it by working extremely hard for years and it's paid off - it just shows that if you want to achieve something, it can be done if you put your mind to it.

Our partners at Supporter2Reporter also spoke with Ore on Tuesday, and you can hear their interview here.

YSPOTY contenders: Conor Coady Q&A
30 Nov 10 |  School Report
YSPOTY winner: Tom Daley Q&A
19 Dec 10 |  School Report
GB taekondo star Jade Jones Q&A
09 Aug 12 |  School Report
YSPOTY contenders: Dan Lucker Q&A
30 Nov 10 |  School Report
Olympic gymnastics: TeamGB star Sam Oldham Q&A
30 Jul 12 |  School Report
YSPOTY contenders: Liam Pitchford Q&A
30 Nov 10 |  School Report
YSPOTY contenders: Laura Robson Q&A
30 Nov 10 |  School Report
YSPOTY contenders: Emma Saunders Q&A
30 Nov 10 |  School Report
2010 YSPOTY contenders: Zoe Smith Q&A
30 Nov 10 |  School Report
YSPOTY contenders: Jodie Williams Q&A
30 Nov 10 |  School Report
2010 BBC Young Sports Personality: Top 10
26 Nov 10 |  Sports Personality
Teens battle for sport star prize
26 Nov 10 |  Sport
BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year 2010
24 Nov 10 |  Sports Personality
BBC Young SPOTY 2010 - Terms and Conditions
08 Oct 10 |  Sports Personality

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