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Nationwide search is on for the UK’s best young adventurers

17 June 2015

A national search for the UK’s most adventurous youngsters has been launched by the University of Derby.

The best rock climbers, sailors, cyclists, runners, cavers, kayakers, bikers and skateboarders are being sought for the UK’s Young Adventurers Awards 2015.

Nominations are now open for the awards, which aim to recognise youngsters who excel at adventure sports and push boundaries to reach their potential.

This year there are four categories for the competition; Junior Adventurer of the Year (aged 7-11), Adventurer of the Year (aged 12-17), Team of the Year and Derbyshire Adventurer of the Year.

Each entry will be assessed by a panel of judges, with the winners being announced at a special awards ceremony held at the University’s Oaklands Manor Outdoor Leadership Centre, in the Peak District, on Saturday, October 10.

Professor Nick Draper, Head of the Department of Life Sciences at the University of Derby, has been involved in organising the event.

He said: “Until we started our Young Adventurers Award in 2013, there appeared to be no regional or national scheme running in the UK that focused on young people and their achievements in the adventure sports.

“We have been proud to be associated with the awards, which moved in 2014 to become a National Award scheme.

“At a time when Britain has been referred to as the lazy nation of Europe, it is wonderful to see the quality of the nominees and award winners in each year.

“Britain has some wonderful Young Adventurers, of whom we should be very proud, and the University of Derby along with the Sport, Outdoor and Exercise Team are delighted to be associated with this celebration of achievement.”

the finalists of the young adventurers

This year’s judging panel includes Dr Chris Bussell, Dean of the College of Life and Natural Sciences at the University, Adam Evans, an outdoor leadership and personal development coach, lecturer and guide, Mark Sears, Chief Wild Officer of The Wild Network and Co-Director of Derbyshire Sport, Hayley Lever.

Shauna Coxsey, Head Coach for the RAF Climbing Team and winner of two World Cup Golds for Bouldering, is the guest speaker for the awards ceremony.

The winners of the Junior Adventurer of the Year, Adventurer of the Year, and Derbyshire Adventurer of the Year awards, will each win a GoPro HERO.

The winners of the Team of the Year category will receive one GoPro HERO for their group.

Last year, Finnbarr Brooks scooped Derbyshire Adventurer of the Year.

The 10-year-old, who attends Denstone College Preparatory School and Nursery at Smallwood Manor, is currently the British Champion in Speed Skating.
In July, he will be in London to defend his title and will be competing in an international event in Zandvoorde, Belgium, in August.

Finnbarr said: “I was proud to get the award but also very surprised as there were so many other amazing children nominated.”

Finnbarr’s mum Charlotte added: “I nominated Finnbarr because of his tireless enthusiasm to train and improve on his performance. He always pushes himself that little bit further and never gives up.

“I was delighted for him when he won the award, to have acknowledgement of his hard work and training is fantastic and he's only 10 years old.”

To enter, all you have to do is tell us why you want to nominate your son, daughter, young relative, friend or classmate, student or club member, fellow team member or even yourself.

Nominations for the UK Young Adventurers Awards 2015 close at 11:59pm on Friday, July 31, 2015.

For more information about the UK Young Adventurer Awards 2015, and to submit a nomination, visit: www.derby.ac.uk/yaa2015