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2009 BBC Young Sports Personality: The top 10

Sports Personality of the Year
Venue: Sheffield Arena Date: Sunday, 13 December Time: 1900 GMT Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBC Radio 5 Live & BBC Sport website.

Young Sports Personality: Top 10

After a stunning year of sporting success for young British athletes a shortlist of 10 contenders have been named for this year's BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year award.

The accolade, which is awarded by the BBC in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust, will be handed to the winner at the Sports Personality of the Year event in Sheffield on 13 December.

A panel chaired by BBC Sport presenter John Inverdale met on Monday 9 November to decide on the top 10 YSPOTY contenders.

"I think every year we say the depth of competition gets more and more intense," said Inverdale.

2008 Eleanor Simmonds
2007 Tom Daley
2006 Theo Walcott
2005 Harry Aikines-Aryeetey
2004 Andrew Murray
2003 Kate Haywood
2002 Wayne Rooney
2001 Amy Spencer

"This year we have ended up with a top 10 but it could have been a top 15 or 17.

"Now almost everybody is a world-ranked performer in the sport they do."

The panel, which included BBC Sport presenter Jake Humphrey, Blue Peter presenter Helen Skelton, Sportsround presenter Ore Oduba and previous Young Sports Personality of the Year winners Kate Haywood and Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, worked through a huge list of contenders to pick the top 10.

"What's special this year is the range of sports. It just shows that young people feel in this country that a range of sports are accessible to them," said Humphrey.

Eleanor Simmonds

Simmonds wins Young Sports Personality award

"It is going to be very difficult. I have got an idea of two people who will be in my top three but that will probably change thirty times between now and setting the top three."

Below is the list of top 10 contenders for BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year. For full terms and conditions, scroll down to the bottom of the page.

The Top 10

Tom Daley
Tom Daley, 15

After competing at last year's Olympics in Beijing at only 14 years old the incredible diving career of the schoolboy from Plymouth just keeps on reaching new heights.

Daley, the 2007 Young Sports Personality of the Year, produced a stunning final dive to win a shock gold at his first World Championships this summer.

The dive in Rome made Daley Britain's youngest ever world champion in any sport and a national treasure.

Becky Downie
Becky Downie, 17

There is not a lot Becky Downie cannot do in the world of gymnastics. This summer she became the British senior champion in the all-around event, bars, beam and floor, and was runner-up in the vault.

Earlier in the year Becky came sixth in vault and bars at the European Championships, and 11th in the all-around event. Most recently she was placed 16th in the all-around competition at the World Championships competing against the best gymnasts in the world.

The Nottinghamshire gymnast's unique ability to excel at all disciplines makes her an exciting prospect for London 2012.

George Ford
George Ford, 16
Rugby Union

At only 16 years and 237 days old, George Ford became the youngest player to make his professional debut for Leicester Tigers when he featured against Leeds Carnegie in November.

Tigers head coach Richard Cockerill backed his young protege and said he had no concerns about handing Ford his debut.

The fly-half has already played for the England Under-18 side and is tipped to be a future star for the full England team.

Oliver Golding
Oliver Golding, 16

Oliver Golding has smashed his way to the top of British boy's tennis this year becoming the youngest ever British number one junior.

His under-18 world ranking on the 1 January 2009 was 1250 and now stands at 78, a staggering climb.

In 2009 he also became the youngest player in the world to earn an ATP World Ranking (1714) and represented Great Britain in the final of the Junior Davis Cup in Mexico.

Sarah Moore
Sarah Moore, 16
Motor Racing

Sarah Moore is the most successful female racing driver in Britain and her achievements make her one of the top females in the history of motorsport at 16 years old.

The Yorkshire racer won the 2009 Ginetta Junior Championship, becoming the first female to win a mixed-sex motor racing championship at national level.

She scored five wins in the 20-race British calendar (including famous tracks such as Silverstone), winning the title with 448 points in her second year of racing.

John Paul
John Paul, 16

John Paul started cycling after watching 2008 Sports Personality of the Year winner Sir Chris Hoy win gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics, and the 16-year-old looks set to follow in his hero's footsteps.

He is among the fastest sprinters in the world in his age group, with better times than Olympic cycling star Jason Kenny at the same age.

The Oxfordshire-based Scot won two gold medals at the National Track Championships in Wales and looks likely be the next big thing to come out of the GB cycling team.

Mike Perham
Mike Perham, 17

Mike Perham caused a media sensation this summer when he became the youngest person to sail around the world single-handed.

He celebrated his 17th birthday in the Indian Ocean and returned to a hero's welcome in Portsmouth on 30 August, nine months after departing.

For his next adventure in 2010 he is preparing to take on the 4,000 mile journey from Tonga to Timor in the Pacific in an open boat with 3 other crew members.

Eleanor Simmonds
Eleanor Simmonds, 15

Last year's YSPOTY winner once again blew away the field in 2009 as she won five gold medals at the European Championships.

Simmonds, who was Britain's youngest-ever individual Paralympics gold medallist last year, won the 50m Freestyle, 100m Freestyle, 400m Freestyle, 200m Individual Medley and 4 x 100m relay this year in Reykjavik.

The Swansea-based swimmer broke the world record in the 200m Individual Medley and looks set to continue dominating in the pool.

Heather Watson
Heather Watson, 17

Inspired by Laura Robson who became junior Wimbledon champion in 2008, Heather Watson has stepped out of the shadows and into the spotlight taking her own Grand Slam title.

In September she became the first Briton to win the US Open girls tournament as, despite being seeded 11th, she dominated the final beating Russian opponent Yana Buchina in two sets.

Earlier in the year she took her first senior title at the Frinton Open, overtaking Laura Robson as the highest ranked British junior at third in the world junior rankings.

Jodie Williams
Jodie Williams, 16

Described as a "teen sensation" by UK Athletics, Jodie Williams is a ray of hope for British sprinting.

In July she became the first girl to win both the 100m and 200m titles at the IAAF World Youth Championships, the same feat achieved by 2005 YSPOTY winner Harry Aikines-Aryeetey.

Her 100m-winning time of 11.39 seconds made her the fastest female in the country at that point and put her third in the UK senior rankings.

Terms and conditions

This will be awarded to the outstanding young sportsperson aged 16 or under on 1 January 2009, selected from nominations made to the BBC and by sports governing bodies via the Youth Sport Trust.

People are eligible to win the award if they are the right age AND they are British, OR if they meet all three of the following criteria:

- They play a significant amount of their sport in the UK

- Their core achievements that year were achieved in the UK, and not with a national team

- They are residents in the UK

The closing date for nominations is Monday 2 November 2009.

Chaired by BBC Sport's John Inverdale; Jake Humphrey (BBC Sport); Helen Skelton (Blue Peter presenter); Ore Oduba (Sportsround presenter); Previous Young Sports Personality of the Year winners Kate Haywood and Harry Aikines-Aryeetey; two representatives from BBC Sports Personality of the Year, and two representatives from the Youth Sport Trust.

The panel will meet to choose the top 10 contenders on Monday 9 November 2009 from the list of nominations collected by the Youth Sport Trust and the BBC.

The panel will reconvene two weeks later on Monday 23 November 2009 to select the top three and the winner from the top 10 list. The top three and the winner will be selected by secret ballot.

The top three will be invited to the live event and the other seven contenders will be notified out of courtesy that they have not made the final shortlist.

The winner will be announced live on the Sports Personality of the Year show and the website on Sunday 13 December 2009.

see also
Young Sports Personality: Top 10
11 Nov 09 |  Sports Personality
Sports Personality presenters
21 Oct 09 |  Sports Personality
Sports Personality roll of honour
22 Dec 10 |  Sports Personality
Simmonds wins Young Sports Personality award
14 Dec 08 |  Sports Personality
BBC Sports Unsung Hero 2009
12 Aug 10 |  Sports Personality
Sue Barker on the spot in Sheffield
05 Nov 09 |  Sports Personality

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