After breaking onto the senior circuit this year taekwondo fighter Bradly Sinden could be set for a triumphant finish to 2016 after being shortlisted for SportsAid’s prestigious One-to-Watch Award.
In 2015 Sinden proved his worth on the junior circuit with victory in the -63kg category at both the Dutch Open and European Junior Championships.
But, while stepping up to senior level this year, the 18-year-old has not been fazed, winning bronze at the Dutch Open and making the last 16 of the European Championships.
He is now a full-time member of the GB Academy in Manchester, training alongside the likes of two-time Olympic champion Jade Jones.
And with the future looking bright, former Ash Hill Academy pupil Sinden is certainly a man making the headlines, shown with his latest nomination.
SportsAid’s One-to-Watch Award was launched in 2006 with double Olympic medallist Tom Daley the inaugural winner, with six of the ten recipients competing at the Rio Games this summer.
And Sinden is now in line to join such illustrious company as one of ten nominees selected from over 1,100 rising British stars supported by SportsAid across more than 60 different sports.
The winner will be presented at the charity’s annual SportsBall on November 24 and Sinden admits taking the gong home would be the perfect end to a dream season.
“I’m just so grateful to be selected for the shortlist and thankful to the people who put my name forward,” said Sinden, who has previously trained at Kings Taekwondo in Hatfield.
“It’s really good to be recognised and to be nominated for an award that so many successful people have won in the past.
“It would mean a lot to me to win. SportsAid has been really helpful throughout my whole career, especially with the funding.
“At the end of last year I got selected for the European Junior Championships and went on to win gold.
“I moved up to the seniors this year and managed to get a bronze in my first senior competition in March. It’s been a really good year for getting experience.”
With the likes of Jones and fellow Rio medallists Lutalo Muhammad and Bianca Walkden now training partners in Manchester, Sinden is certainly not short of motivation to make it all the way to the highest level himself.
“I started taekwondo when I was four years old. I really enjoy it, it’s great to win medals but also the fact that you get to represent your country is special,” he added.
“I’m now a member of the full time senior team in Manchester and started there in July. You can tell the improvement there, it’s a great environment to be around.
“Knowing that your training partners and teammates have been to the Olympics and won medals makes you think why can’t that be me too? Psychologically that really helps and makes you more motivated to do your best.”
The winner of SportsAid’s prestigious One-to-Watch Award will be revealed at the charity’s 40th anniversary SportsBall in London on Thursday 24 November. All funds raised from the SportsBall helps to support the next generation of British athletes. Please visit www.sportsball.org.uk for tickets.
Image courtesy of Andy Thompson via SportEngland, with thanks.