Challis Shortlisted for BBC Young SPOTY award

15 Dec 2021

ParalympicsGB’s youngest medallist at Tokyo 2020, Ellie Challis, has been named on the three-person shortlist for this year’s BBC Young Sports Personality of the year.

Para-Swimmer Ellie Challis joins footballer Jude Bellingham and Olympic Skateboarder Sky Brown on the three-person shortlist for the coveted BBC Young SPOTY award. The winner will be announced on Sunday night during the BBC One live show, with the Clacton-on-Sea starlet adding to the representation of aquatic disciplines on display after Tom Daley and Adam Peaty were announced among the six athletes the public will choose from for the main award.

The 17-year-old swimmer – who is coached by Graeme Smith at the National Performance Centre - competed in three Paralympic finals this summer, her memorable debut Games capped with a superb silver medal in Women’s S3 50m Backstroke. That brilliant swim saw Challis break her own British record by half-a-second, and meant she left Tokyo 2020 as ParalympicGB’s youngest medallist.

Ellie Challis S3 50m Back SILVER celebrations [Getty]
Ellie Challis

Having already been touted for future success on the back of World Championship bronze in 2019 as SportsAid’s One to watch award winner, Challis has continued her rise in the sport with a smile as she builds towards future aspirations in the pool.

Speaking after her silver medal in Tokyo, Challis said:

“I just enjoy it all. I’m only 17, I’m the youngest on the team, the lowest class on the team. Whatever happened, I was going to enjoy it. I can’t really expect too much – I’m mainly looking at Paris as I’ll be older and more experienced, this is just to gain experience, so to come away with a silver medal, I can’t believe it!”

In recent times, the rising stars of aquatics have featured highly on BBC Young Sports Personality of the year shortlists, with the likes of swimmer Freya Anderson, para-swimmer’s Maisie Summers Newton and Toni Shaw shortlisted since 2018, whilst diver Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix scooped the trophy in 2020.

Find out more about BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2021 HERE.