Derbyshire’s first ‘Young Adventurer of the Year’ Nominees

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First ‘Derbyshire Young Adventurer of The Year’

Proudly presented by the University of Derby, Buxton in partnership with the RDSSP

The first ever winner of Buxton Adventure Festival’s ‘Derbyshire Young Adventurer of the Year’ will be announced tonight as well as ‘Young Leader of the Year’ and a ‘Spirit of Adventure’ winner.

Uni Derby Buxton logo copyThe winners will be chosen from 17 nominees by the judging panel including top climber Pete Whittaker, England fell runner Stuart Bond, and Hope Factory team cyclist Adela Carter at an awards ceremony at the Oaklands Manor Outdoor Leadership Centre at University of Derby, Buxton tonight (Friday 1st November), after inspirational talks by British Adventurer Dave Cornthwaite and Tim Meek ( who is on a quest to complete 100 micro-adventures with his wife and two young daughters.

Uni Derby Oaklands manor logo HIGHRES copyEach of the three category winners will be presented with a trophy and all of our nominees will receive a medal.  The Young Adventurer of the Year wins a trip for two to the 2014 Junior Adventure Racing World Cup in the French High Alps for him/herself and a friend, including travel and accommodation.  Young Leader and Spirit of Adventure winners win an ‘Adventure Day’ at Oaklands Manor Outdoor Leadership Centre for him/herself and 20 classmates.  (Read more about the awards).




Sarah Briggs

11 year old Sarah from Derby High School (Matlock Cycling Club) is currently one of the leading riders in the Nottingham & Derbyshire Cyclo-cross League. In June this year she finished 2nd in the British Schools Cycling Association national circuit race championship in Lancaster (having previously won the East Midlands championship), even thought she crashed with a lap to go, losing skin as well as time.  She’s also a keen gymnast at the Amber Valley Gymnastics Academy and very much enjoys trampolining and snowboarding. Sarah’s always looking out for a challenge, be it climbing at Black Rocks, Kayaking on Carsington Water, tackling The Face in Wirksworth, or just walking along Curbar Edge and is described by Dad Andrew as demonstrating a ‘mature steely determination’.

Finnbarr Brooks

9 year old Finnbarr from Marston Montgomery Primary in Ashbourne is our youngest nominee.  He’s a keen fell runner who won the Junior Dovedale Dash (U8s).  He’s taken up windsurfing with Carsington Comets T15 Club, winning the National Boy’s Champion Trophy.  He also skates at national level with Ashbourne Speed Skating Club.

Laurie Butler

16 year old Laurie from Anthony Gell School in Wirksworth stood out having been nominated by his friends Jack Sutton and Cameron Macdonald who say: “Every day with Laurie is an adventure. You never know what’s going to happen but you know it’s going to be fun. He has a wonderful way of looking at the world, seeing the positives where most would only see despair.”

Renowned for cycling everywhere with panniers bursting with school work and climbing gear, Laurie is a keen climber, sailor, cyclist, kayaker and hiker.  He is part of the ‘Gifted and Talented’ climbing programme.  He’s helped his friend overcome his fear of heights and made sure his whole group not only completed their Duke of Edinburgh expedition but came home before everyone else.

Tom Craig

In late 2012, 16 year old Tom from Hayfield, who attends Aquinas College in Stockport and rides for Scott UK, was selected for the British Cycling Talent Team.  In January he achieved his first national title in the British cyclocross championships.  In mountain-biking he gained two national wins including the final round of the Olympic course and went on to take the national series win.  He took part in the youth European championships in Austria and has secured a place on the Olympic Development Programme.

Haydon Hanby

14 year old Haydon Hanby from Anthony Gell School (Matlock Canoe Club) was inspired to start kayaking by a family canoe trip in Spain in 2009.  He joined his local club learning in his local pool, progressing to kayaking on the Derwent at Matlock Bath before starting special slalom sessions.  His first slalom event was on the Trent at Stone in Staffordshire and has moved up from division 4 to Division 2 earlier this year.  He also enjoys more relaxed kayaking with his family – the highlight of which was a 3 day trip to Patagonia.

Kyle Holmes

14 year old Kyle from Anthony Gell School (Wirksworth Climbing) transformed himself from what his Mum Jain describes as a ‘withdrawn, moody and lazy boy’ into a promising young climber on the Gifted and Talented programme.  Taster sessions at his local wall a couple of years ago got him hooked on rock climbing and off the X Box addiction.  Within a couple of months he was at his first competition and in spite of numerous injuries (not climbing related), including a broken ankle, he has persevered through rehab to regain fitness.  Kyle trains his own small wall in his bedroom, outdoors wherever he can climb and at his local wall.  His next plan is to go further afield for more climbing adventures.

Sarah Lomas

16 year old Sarah, who goes to school in Buxton, is a competitive mountain biker and cyclo-cross rider with club Scott Contessa Epic.  Showing real dedication and commitment to the sport, whilst at the same time appearing to thoroughly enjoy what she does, she’s made real progress including winning the youth under 16 girls cyclocross national trophy series (2011/12); cyclocross national trophy round 5 2012/13; mountain bike national series round 5 2013; 4th overall mountain bike national series 2013 and 21st in the European youth mountain bike championships in Austria this year.

Gracie Martin

16 year old Gracie has quickly risen to become one of the top young climbers in the country, according to BMC Youth Rep Jim Aitken.  She was rewarded with a place on the GB Junior climbing team and in December 2012 was one of the first selected for the newly created GB Junior Bouldering Team where she has continued to impress at competitions at a European level, finishing 16th in the most recent European Youth Cup event in Laval, France.

Cameron Orr

14 year old Cameron from Anthony Gell in Wirksworth (Matlock Cycling Club) has had a very successful year, ranking 4th in the National (U14) and 3rd in Midlands (U14) Mountain Bike series, and winning the opening stage, overall King of the Mountains competition, and finishing second overall in the International Youth Tour of Ireland.  A true all-rounder he’s also an accomplished county-level middle distance runner, who swims, climbs, skis and is learning to snowboard.  He won his school’s Sports Personality of the Year and was runner-up in this year’s Derbyshire Dales Young Sports Person of the Year Award.

Jack Ramsden

13 year old Jack climbs for Alter Rock in Derby.  He’s made amazing strides in developing his climbing in a very short space of time, winning local Peak Area rounds of the Youth Climbing Series, to go on to gain a top 10 placing in his group in the Peak Area at the National finals and gaining selection for the new BMC National Academy Talent Development programme.  Described by BMC Youth Rep, Jim Atikin as ‘one of the very top young climbers for his age in the country’ Jack was recently a finalist at the British Lead Climbing Championships for his age category.

Lucy Williamson

10 year old Lucy from Repton Primary School (1st Repton Scouts) completed the notoriously tough Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge this summer, walking 25 miles and climbing Pen-y-Ghent (694m), Whernside (736m) the highest mountain in Yorkshire, and Ingleborough (723m) with her scout group.

Camping overnight ahead of a 5am start, Lucy supported and encouraged her group and 13.5 hrs later – still smiling – she was one of only four finishers.

Jennifer Willison

16 year old Jenni Wilson from Derby Moor Community Sports College (Derby A.C.) represented the county in 2012/13 on the track and in cross-country and despite only starting fell running this summer she was the sole Derbyshire representative in the Inter Counties Fell Running Championships and went on to represent England at the Junior Home International, Aberfoyle.

Her achievements are all the more remarkably because with no fellow runners her age in the area to travel or warm up with, she has shown true determination by travelling long journeys to races in Yorkshire and the Lakes where she’s often had to compete in awful weather conditions.


Henry Marshall

14 year old Henry from Abbotts Holme School joined Carsington Sports & Leisure Junior Sailing Club a few seasons ago with no previous sailing knowledge. Pairing up with his sailing partner Dan Philips-Moul he’s has excelled in confidence and ability.  He’s expressed interest in starting to race and the club hope to develop his promise through next season with a view to travelling to other clubs and competing.

Harvey Martin

14 year old Harvey (Home Schooled/Chesterfield College) has been obsessed with all things sailing since reading Swallows and Amazons at the age of eight, soon after which he was signed up for sailing lessons as part of Ogston Sailing Club’s Junior Fleet programme.  In 2011 he became Mirror National Champion, topping this in 2012 by becoming Mirror European Champion.

He broke one of his front teeth capsizing during a training race at a very windy regatta in Bridlington but carried on for another full day of competition.  Last year Harvey successfully secured a place on the 2012/13 RYA National Squad and in June he and his crew were chosen as the only pair to represent GB at the RS Feva Crown Cup in the Czech Republic, winning with a race to spare and beating the 2012 World Champions in the process.

Dan Philip-Moul

14 year old Dan (JCB Academy / Carsington Sports & Leisure Junior Sailing Club) who only started sailing earlier this season is described by instructors as having an amazing ability to sail, take in tuition and build confidence.  Pairing up with his sailing partner and fellow nominee Henry Marshall has helped improve both of their skills in sailing and socially.  He’s shown interest in racing and the club hope to develop his talent next season.

Daniel Wellbourne-Hesp

11 year old Daniel Wellbourne Hesp from Anthony Gell School, Wirksworth (Carsington Sailing Club, Derbyshire Youth Sailing) has progressed and competed despite massive family challenges.  Selected for an RYA Zone Squad place in the North and West Optimist Squad, he continued to train and compete following his Dad Jon’s diagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer.   His proudest sailing moment was beating 150 adult and youth competitors in the All Comers race at the National School Sailing Association summer regatta at Bassenthwaite in July 2013, with his dad there to watch, a few weeks before he sadly passed away.  He’s moving steadily up the national rankings from his 218 place last year.

Jessie Wellbourne-Hesp

17 year old Jessie from Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Ashbourne (Carsington Sailing Club and Derbyshire Youth Sailing) was selected for the GBR Youth Laser Radial Team for the European Under 19 Youth Championships in Belgium 2012, becoming 12th placed U17 Youth Lady Laser Radial sailor in Europe, Top Lady, Youth and Radial sailor in the Midlands Laser Grand Prix competition and 5th placed youth sailor in Derbyshire.  She has also this year coped with the loss of her Dad Jon who had pancreatic cancer.