Young German-Pinay fighter scoops UK sports award

By Edward Lao, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau

Posted at Dec 03 2012 03:10 PM | Updated as of Dec 03 2012 11:10 PM

TV host Gabby Logan interviews young German-Pinay taekwondo athlete Jeamy Navarro-Schrank

LONDON - A German-Pinay taekwondo athlete has scooped this year's Rising Star award at the recent OCS Young Sports Person (YSP) Awards held in London.

The 15th OCS YSP Awards, run in partnership with charity SportsAid, was held at BAFTA (British Academy of Film & Television Arts) in Piccadilly on November 21.

It was attended by some of the best known names in British sport including Olympic gymnasts Beth Tweddle and Sam Oldham, rower Katherine Grainger and canoeist Timothy Baillie.

Jeamy Navarro-Schrank, 12, was one of three talented athletes shortlisted in the Rising Star category by SportsAid, which fund and support the next generation of sporting talent in the United Kingdom.

The British-born fighter from the city of Southampton won the YSP Rising Star award after satisfying strict performance related criteria and because of her achievements in the 2011/2012 year, which include two gold medals at the 2011 Park Cup in Germany, gold at the 2012 Swedish Open and silver at the 2012 Belgian Open.

Navarro-Schrank was interviewed on stage by TV host Gabby Logan before being presented a trophy and cheque for £1,000 by former sports minister Richard Caborn and golfer Max Martin, who won the award in 2004.

In an email to ABS-CBN Europe, Jeamy's father Yan Schrank relayed a message from his daughter.

"I feel really proud and honored to receive this award as it shows that SportsAid and OCS believe in my ability and that is a great feeling. This will motivate me even more to succeed," Jeamy said.

"I am also grateful for the opportunity to meet so many celebrities at the ceremony and for the financial support they have given me which will go towards some of my training and competition costs," she added.

Aged eight, Jeamy ditched ballet for taekwondo and has not looked back since. Her technical ability and burning ambition to one day win an Olympic gold medal has seen her rise rapidly through the ranks to become a prolific medalist across the continent.

A member of Great Britain's National Cadet team, the taekwondo prodigy is currently preparing for the European Championships in June 2013. It will be her first opportunity to compete under the Team GB banner.

The youngster is aiming to make it to the 2020 Olympic Games, where she would most probably compete in the Under-49kg category.

SportsAid told ABS-CBN Europe it supported an estimated 1,700 athletes in the UK over the past year, one of whom was Jeamy.

The organization points out almost two-thirds of the British team at the London 2012 Olympic Games had previously benefited from SportsAid's assistance. These athletes won 20 Olympic and 27 Paralympic gold medals between them.

Previous winners of the OCS YSP Awards such as gymnasts Louis Smith and Beth Tweddle, sailor Hannah Mills, swimmer Eleanor Faulkner and judoka Gemma Howell, are now established sports personalities.