Young boxing starlet Caroline Dubois has admitted she is on top of the world after been crowned SportsAid’s One-to-Watch for 2018.
The young fighter beat off fierce competition from high jumper Dominic Ogbechie and rower Calvin Tarczy to land the prestigious gong, which was revealed at the charity’s annual SportsBall ceremony, held this year at London’s City Hall on Thursday.
The 17-year-old from Chelsea claimed a hat-trick of titles this year with golds at the Youth World, European and Olympic Championships.
She follows in the footsteps of previous winners Tom Daley, Morgan Lake and Jodie Williams, while SportsAid funding recipients such as Greg Rutherford, Nekoda Smythe-Davis and Georgie Twigg attended the evening’s celebrations.
And Dubois was delighted to be recognised among such esteemed company at the SportsBall, which was sponsored by long-time SportsAid partner Royal Bank of Canada.
“It feels amazing to be announced as the winner of the One to Watch award,” said a delighted Dubois, who admitted she called herself ‘Colin’ when first starting out to avoid any stigma attached to girls’ boxing.
“It’s exciting to get the recognition and the appreciation. I’m grateful for it. I don’t know what I was thinking, but when they announced that I was the winner I was just happy and excited, it was amazing.
“It definitely means that I’m up there with one of the best. It’s amazing to see myself up there with the likes of Tom Daley and other great athletes.
“I definitely love the sport, otherwise I wouldn’t be in it – I wouldn’t have the passion, the drive.
“Going into boxing, I know that females don’t really take up the sport, but I don’t really see it as that; I see it to show myself and showcase myself, and I love every second of being in the ring.”
Runners-up Ogbechie and Tarczy were also recognised for their potential, rewarded for their achievements with a SportsAid equipment grant.
The award was presented at the end of a night that saw many of SportsAid’s alumni joining together to celebrate the next generation of British sporting talent.
And it was Olympic gold medallist Rutherford who was tasked with handing the award to Dubois, something that the long jumper admitted was a great honour as he cast his eye over the future superstars coming through the ranks.
“For me coming and meeting the next generation of athletes and having the honour of presenting the One-to-Watch is a big deal,” he said.
“To see these youngsters coming through, looking incredibly special and genuine superstars of the future, it’s a fantastic thing.
“It’s something that SportsAid does, is highlights the facts that we have these incredible youngsters coming through, and sport is a really bright future for an awful lot of youngsters.”
You can help support the next generation of British Olympians and Paralympians by making a regular or one-off donation to SportsAid. Please visit http://www.sportsaid.org.uk/get-involved/make-a-donation/ for further information.
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