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Five funded athletes nominated for prestigious award

SportsAid's One-to-Watch award celebrates the best of young British sporting talent.

09th November 2022

Five Sport England-supported young athletes are in the running for a prestigious award thanks to their impressive performances this year.

SportsAid’s One-to-Watch award, which began in 2006, celebrates the achievements of Britain’s brightest young sporting prospects.

Previous winners include Tom Daley, Hollie Arnold, Courtney Tulloch and Alex Yee, with the full roster of winners having amassed more than 50 senior Olympic, Paralympic, world, European and Commonwealth medals between them.

A collage of the ten SportsAid One-to-Watch award nominees for 2022

The ten-strong shortlist features five athletes supported by our Backing the Best programme, a four-year, £5.5 million investment to support young athletes and their families with the financial pressures of competitive sport.

Charlotte Jenman, Emmanuel Oyinbo-Coker, Jayda Pechova, Marfa Ekimova and Mark Swan, along with the five other nominees, will find out the winner of the award at SportsAid’s Celebrate the Next event, which returns after a two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

The two previous winners, Caroline Dubois in 2018 and Ellie Challis in 2019, were both recipients of Backing the Best funding, with both going on to represent Great Britain at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

And Ellie remembers her win fondly. She said: “I was so shocked when I heard my name read out as the winner of SportsAid’s One-to-Watch Award.

“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!” 

The shortlist of athletes was selected from around 1,000 rising sporting stars supported by SportsAid, across more than 60 sports.

Each year, athletes are nominated by their sport’s governing body on the strength of their talent and potential, which is why the award has gained its reputation for identifying the best up-and-coming prospects in the country.

The winner will be chosen by a panel of experts that includes Olympians, Paralympians, Commonwealth champions and award-winning sports journalists.
 

Backing the Best's nominated athletes

Charlotte Jenman

Judo 

17, from Dartford, Kent 

  • Bronze in the women’s -52kg category at the European Cadet Championships 2022 

  • Gold in the women’s -52kg category at the European Cadet Cup 2022 (Strasbourg)  

  • Fifth in the women’s -52kg category at the European Youth Olympic Festival 2022 

Emmanuel Oyinbo-Coker

Para athletics 

21, from Grays, Essex 

  • Gold in the men’s T45-47 100m at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 (senior) 

  • Gold in the men’s T47 100m at the World Para Athletics Grand Prix 2022 in Dubai (senior) 

  • Bronze in the men’s mixed class 100m at the British Athletics Championships 2022 (senior) 

Jayda Pechová

Netball 

18, from Fleet, Hampshire 

  • Gold at the Europe Netball Under-21s Championships 2021 and Under-19s Championships 2022  

  • Winners of the National Performance League 2022 (Grand Final) with London Pulse (Under-21s) 

  • Runners-up in the National Performance League 2022 with London Pulse (Under-21s) 

Marfa Ekimova

Rhythmic Gymnastics 

17, from Welling, Kent 

  • Gold in the women’s individual all-around at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 (senior) 

  • Bronze in the women’s team event at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 (senior) 

  • Gold in the women’s individual all-around at the British Gymnastics Championships 2022 (senior)

Mark Swan

Powerlifting 

21, from Seaham, County Durham 

  • Gold in the men’s -65kg category at the European Open Para Powerlifting Championships 2022 (senior)  

  • Gold in the men’s -65kg category at the World Para Powerlifting Junior Championships 2021 

  • Silver in the men’s lightweight category at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 (senior)  

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