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Leah Moorby with her award

LEAH MOORBY, BRITISH JUNIOR & SENIOR TAEKWONDO CHAMPION, WINS OCS YOUNG SPORTSPERSON OF THE YEAR 2016

Leah Moorby, 17, from Keighley, Yorkshire, was voted OCS Young Sportsperson of the Year at a glittering Awards ceremony held at City Hall in London last night which was hosted by BBC Sport commentator and former international gymnast, Gabby Logan, and attended by a host of sporting personalities.

Heading off to the World Championships in Vancouver in ten days’ time, Leah is definitely one of our sports stars of the future. Two years ago in Taiwan, she was the youngest GB team member at only 14 and still won a Bronze in the Junior World Championships there and is hoping to better that effort in Vancouver. She has been British Junior Champion for the past 4 years and this September she also won the British Senior Championship.

Always an extremely active little girl, she used to admire Jackie Chan and his fancy kicks and wanted to reproduce them…. so her Dad, former professional Rugby League player Gary Moorby, took her along to a local club and that’s how her Taekwondo career started. Leah’s says her Dad is probably the most influential person in her life because he pushes her hard to do her best and takes her to training and competitions. Both her mum and dad are big fans and will be going to Vancouver to cheer her on in the World Championships. Leah also credits her coach, former Barcelona Olympian and multiple British Taekwondo champion, Kathy Hook, as being her other big influence and key to her success.

In partnership with SportsAid, since the Awards began in 1998, OCS has made sports bursaries to nearly 250 deserving young people. The Awards give outstanding young athletes recognition and support to help them with the strain of training, travelling and competing; they also offer independent recognition and financial assistance at the start of their journey when, more often than not, parents and guardians are the solitary sponsor, and this can make a huge difference. 

This summer, in Rio, 13 former OCS Young Sportsperson Awards finalists took part in the Olympics and Paralympics and brought back a 4 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze medal. Former Award winners include gymnasts Louis Smith and Beth Tweddle.

The young athletes assisted are typically aged 9-13 when they rely on the bank of mum and dad to fund travel, accommodation and other costs, before they are supported by commercial sponsorship.

Tim Lawler, chief executive of SportsAid commented: “What an amazing year 2016 has been to celebrate our pride and passion in British sport.  Success like that doesn’t just happen – it takes incredible commitment and dedication and a little bit of help along the way.  The OCS Young Sportsperson Awards provides some of that help, making a telling contribution for young athletes, enabling them to step up to their personal best.  OCS is a fantastic partner to SportsAid and we are very proud to be working with them to help direct this help and support as effectively as possible.”

Peter Slator, CEO of OCS Group International, commented: “The OCS Young Sportsperson Award is more than just another sports award offering sports funding and bursaries to young sports people - we take the opportunity to celebrate with our customers and staff the fantastic achievements of these future sports stars. The 2016 Olympic Games in Rio have been fantastic for former OCS Young Sportsperson Award finalists and we hope our ongoing efforts will help contribute to the next generation of British athletes achieve success in Tokyo and beyond and continue the Olympic legacy achieved in Rio.”

ENDS

For more information, contact Carole Graham on 07801 896 606 / 01273 934 295, or email carole.graham@magentaassociates.co.uk

Further information about past winners and the awards can be found at http://www.ocs.co.uk/ocs-young-sportsperson-awards

Follow the OCS Young Sportsperson Awards on Twitter: @OCSYSP and Facebook @OCSYOUNGSPORTSPERSON

NOTES FOR EDITORS
About OCS Group Limited
OCS Group is an international total facilities management (TFM) provider, with annual turnover of £1bn, employing more than 87,000 people in 50 countries worldwide. OCS ranked 59th in the Sunday Times Top Track 100 in July 2016.

The company offers more than 80 individual services from catering, cleaning, horticulture and waste management to security, maintenance and hygiene. These services can be delivered individually or as part of a fully-integrated FM solution. OCS manages and delivers services to organisations across the public and private sector.

As a private business in the fifth-generation of family ownership, OCS believes in sustainable solutions. Its maxim Here Today, Here Tomorrow reflects the delivery of sustainable solutions to facilities management problems which are sustainable in financial, human, community and environmental terms. Its core values define what it believes in as an organisation. OCS puts customers first; fosters a ‘can do’ attitude; builds strong relationships; recognises wider responsibilities; promotes change and innovation; and provides great value.

OCS takes an active role in the facilities management community as members of the British Institute of Facilities Management and the Business Services Association.

SportsAid

· SportsAid is the only national charity (#1111612) of its kind - helping young British sportsmen and women who aspire to be the nation's next Olympic, Paralympic, Commonwealth or world champions since 1976. The charity is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.
· SportsAid provides these athletes with financial support and recognition as they’re starting out in their sporting careers. The charity is supporting 1,200 athletes - the vast majority aged 12 to 18 - in 2016. The typical value of a SportsAid Award is £1,000.
· These athletes are the UK's brightest prospects. Each year, they are nominated to SportsAid by the national governing bodies of more than 60 sports. Most of them receive no funding, other than that from SportsAid, which means they rely heavily on their parents for support.
· Athletes supported by SportsAid feel balancing the different areas of their lives and access to funding are the two biggest challenges they face. The SportsAid Award they receive helps towards training and competition costs including transport, accommodation and equipment.
· Our most recent athlete survey revealed that the average cost for young talented athletes stood at just over £6,000 – it shows the level of commitment, dedication and sacrifice they make, and the importance of SportsAid.
· SportsAid was the major source of funding for most of the country’s top athletes from 1976 up until National Lottery support arrived in 1997. The charity then began to focus on helping Britain’s young talented sports stars.

Patron

The Charity's Patron is Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge. Since 2013, she has spent time with young athletes supported by SportsAid, and previous beneficiaries of the charity’s help, at fundraising events, training days and performance workshops. Her support is helping to take the charity’s message further than was ever possible before.

SportsAid alumni

SportsAid has supported thousands of athletes during the critical early stages of their careers over the last four decades. These include….
Jessica Ennis-Hill, Tom Daley, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Mo Farah, Bradley Wiggins, Chris Hoy, Steve Redgrave, Ellie Simmonds, Paula Radcliffe, Seb Coe, Steve Cram, Greg Rutherford, David Weir, Laura Trott, Matt Pinsent, Christine Ohuruogu, Amir Khan, Nicola Adams, James DeGale, Luol Deng, Ben Ainslie, Dina Asher-Smith, Mark Cavendish, Ed Clancy, Richard Hounslow, David Florence, Amy Williams, Shelley Rudman, Sally Gunnell, Fatima Whitbread, Kelly Holmes, Jonathan Edwards, Denise Lewis, Katherine Grainger, Rebecca Adlington, Sarah Storey, Leon Taylor, Ade Adepitan, Louis Smith, Max Whitlock, Roger Black, Steve Backley, Jonny Peacock, Lizzy Yarnold, Adam Peaty, Morgan Lake, Amber Hill, Giles Scott, Justin Rose, Charley Hull, Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, Duncan Goodhew and Sharron Davies.

Rio 2016

238 of the 366 members (65%) of Team GB competing in Rio have received financial support and recognition during their careers
180 of the 264 members (68%) of Paralympics GB heading out to Rio received financial support and recognition during their careers (16 still do)

London 2012
Almost two-thirds of the British teams at London 2012 were former – and in a few cases current – recipients of SportsAid’s support, winning 20 Olympic and 27 Paralympic gold medals between them.

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