‘Derbyshire Young Adventurer of the Year’ Winner is…

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First ‘Derbyshire Young Adventurer of The Year’
And The Winner Is…

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

Press release: STRICT EMBARGO 8pm Friday 1st November

Uni Derby Buxton logo copyThe first ever winner of Buxton Adventure Festival’s ‘Derbyshire Young Adventurer of the Year’ is 16 year old Hayfield cyclist Tom Craig.  Our ‘Spirit of Adventure’ category was won by 17 year old sailor Jessie Wellbourn Hesp from Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School in Ashbourne.

The judges decided to share the ‘Young Leader of the Year’ title between two outstanding, all-round athletes 14 year old Cameron Orr and 16 year old Laurie Butler, both from Anthony Gell School in Wirksworth.

BAFYAWINNERSThe winners were chosen from 17 nominees by our judging panel including top climber Pete Whittaker, England fell runner Stuart Bond, and Hope Factory team cyclist Adela Carter.

Uni Derby Oaklands manor logo HIGHRES copyWinners were announced at an awards ceremony at the Oaklands Manor Outdoor Leadership Centre at University of Derby, Buxton on Friday 1st November, after inspirational talks by British Adventurer Dave Cornthwaite and Tim Meek (DoTryThisAtHome.com) who is on a quest to complete 100 micro-adventures with his wife and two young daughters.

Each of our category winners was presented with a trophy and all of our nominees received a medal.  Tom Craig wins a trip for two to the 2014 Junior Adventure Racing World Cup in the French High Alps for himself and a friend, including travel and accommodation.  Jessie wins an ‘Adventure Day’ at Oaklands Manor Outdoor Leadership Centre for herself and 20 classmates.  And Cameron and Laurie each win an Adventure Day for themselves and 10 classmates.   

Buxton Adventure Festival Director, Matt Heason said: “We’ve been blown away by the standard and number of entries for our first ever awards.  Who knows – perhaps we’ll be welcoming some of them back as speakers at future festivals?”

Dr Peter Dewhurst, Strategic Director at the University of Derby Buxton said: “We were delighted to launch a new award to encourage and inspire the next generation of adventurers.  It’s a privilege for me to be able to make the first ever ‘Derbyshire Young Adventurer of the Year’ award and Tom Craig is a worthy winner.” 

“Adventure is at the heart of our outdoors courses at Oaklands Manor Outdoor Leadership Centre where we equip our students with the practical skills needed to face the challenges they will encounter whether they go on to work in the outdoors industry or become explorers and adventurers themselves.”

Janice Price, Partnership Manager at the Rural Derbyshire School Sport Partnership said:  “I never cease to be amazed by the energy and dedication of our Young Leaders who volunteer their time to help organise festivals and competitions for our younger pupils.  In rural areas it’s crucial to give talented youngsters a pathway to success, forging links between schools and clubs.  We hope these new awards will shine a light on talented youngsters of all ages and abilities”.  


Young Adventurer of the Year – Tom Craig
Young Adventurer, Silver – Sarah Lomas
Young Adventurer, Bronze – Gracie Martin

Spirit of Adventure, Gold – Jessie Wellbourne Hesp
Spirit of Adventure, Silver – Harvey Martin
Spirit of Adventure, Bronze – Daniel Wellbourne Hesp

Young Leader of the Year – Cameron Orr and Laurie Butler


Derbyshire Young Adventurer of the Year – Tom Craig

In late 2012, 16 year old Tom from Hayfield, who attends Aquinas College in Stockport, was selected for the British Cycling Talent Team.  In January he achieved his first national title in the British cyclo-cross championships.  In mountain-biking he gained 2 national wins including the final round of the Olympic course and went on to take the national series win.  He tool part in the youth European championships in Austria and has secured a place on the Olympic Development Programme.  Tom rides for Scott UK.

Dad, Nick Craig (himself a multiple national champion in both mountain biking and cyclocross and has represented Great Britain in the Olympics both on and off-road) said: “We are very proud of Thomas’s achievements and success and wish him all the best in his future.”

Spirit of Adventure – Jessie Wellbourn 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.

Her mother Melissa Wellbourne said:  “In achieving this she was under pressure not only to keep up her school work leading up to her GCSE’s but also coped with the diagnosis of her father’s Pancreatic Cancer in Spring 2012. With her determination, and the support of family and friends, she became. Helping her achieve these goals forged a great bond between her and her father and gave them both something to focus on during his treatments. Since his death in August 2013 sailing has also given her some space and a way of remembering happier times.”

Young Leader of the Year – 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) Mountain Bike Series and 3rd in Midlands (U14) Mountain Bike series, and winning the opening stage, overall King of the Mountains competition, and finished 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.

Dad Robert Orr said:  “Cameron has, since a very young age, had a true spirit of adventure. He has not only taken part in many different sports but has excelled in the majority of these.  He is always willing and enthusiastic and helps others reach their maximum potential. Subsequently, he is a very well rounded and capable young leader.”

Young Leader of the Year – Laurie Butler

16 year old Laurie Butler from Anthony Gell School in Wirksworth stood out having been nominated by his friends Jack Sutton and Cameron Macdonald who said: “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 RDSSP ‘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.


Contact details: Lissa Cook, Buxton Adventure Festival PR 07818 411 791 / 01663 751 126 or lissa@heason.net or at the University of Derby James Mitchell at J.Mitchell@derby.ac.uk


Terms & conditions

•    Nominees had to be 17 or under on 1st November 2013 and live in and/or go to school in Derbyshire on the 1st November 2013.
•    Nominations were open to the public as well as to schools, clubs, groups etc. You may nominate more than one young person (please submit one form per nominee).
•    You can only nominate a young person in one category.
•    The 2014 Junior Adventure Racing World Cup will take place in the Haute Alps in France towards the end of July (date tbc).  The race is open to 7 to 17 year olds and takes 4 nights and 5 days. http://www.junioraventure.com/en Watch 2013 video here: http://vimeo.com/74139172