Sports Personality of the Year: Young contenders announced

  • 11 December 2015
Tully Kearney, Ellie Downie and Tom Marquand
Image caption Shortlisted contenders Tully Kearney, Ellie Downie and Tom Marquand

Gymnast Ellie Downie, para-swimmer Tully Kearney and jockey Tom Marquand are on the final shortlist for the BBC Young Sports Personality award.

The top three have been chosen by an expert panel from an original list of 10 contenders.

This year's winner will be announced at the Sports Personality show, live on BBC One from Belfast on 20 December.

Past winners have included footballer Wayne Rooney, diver Tom Daley and tennis player Andy Murray.

The BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year is awarded to an outstanding young sportsperson who was aged 17 or under on 1 January 2015.

Gymnast Claudia Fragapane won the award in 2014 after her triumph at last year's Commonwealth Games.

2015 Young Sports Personality award contenders

Ellie Downie - Gymnastics

Age: 16
From: Nottingham
Bronze in the all-around at the European Championships - the first female gymnast to win an individual all-around medal for Great Britain
Team bronze at the World Championships - Great Britain women's first team medal

Ellie is the younger sister of Team GB Olympian Becky Downie. Ellie's commitment to her education led her to achieve 5 GCSEs at A-C, while competing internationally winning multiple medals in various competitions.

Alongside sister Becky, Ellie also regularly hosts training sessions at her gymnastics club where children get the chance to train with her.

Tully Kearney - Para-swimming

Age: 18
From: Aldridge
• 4 x gold, 1 x silver and 1 x bronze at the IPC World Swimming Championships in Glasgow
• Competed in seven competitions in 2015
• This year she has improved her 200m Individual Medley time by 10 seconds and lowered three European records in the 400m Freestyle, the 200m Individual Medley and the 100m Butterfly during the World Championships

Five years ago, Tully was sitting on the side of the pool watching her mum, Amanda, swimming for fun. Tully has a condition that causes muscle weakness but that's not stopped her swimming now.

Tully's first appearance on the international stage was in 2013, where she won one gold, three silver medals and three bronze medals in her age group at the 25th German Open Meet in Berlin.

Tom Marquand - Horse racing

Age: 17
From: Cheltenham
• 54 winners in his first season as a jockey
• Champion apprentice title - the award for young jockeys based on who rides the most winners during the season
• 26th in the Stobart Flat Jockeys' Championship

Tom first attended the British Racing School in 2012 for Pony Racing tuition. Tom quickly advanced through the Pony Racing Training and in his final season attended a week-long course for the 10 most promising pony racing jockeys in the UK.

Richard Hannon Junior, a previous champion trainer of racehorses and Tom's boss, has said: "There's no doubt Tom has the ability to go all the way. He rides very well and is a pleasant lad who works hard and deserves all the success he has had these past 12 months."

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