EACH one had a story. Each one had made a sacrifice. And, last night, each one was recognised for their determination and guts.
Now in their 19th year, Sunderland Young Achiever’s Awards shines the spotlight on some of the city’s most courageous and inspirational young people.
Whether they have succeeded in sport, volunteering or just their outstanding performance at school, all of the youngsters aged 11 to 20 are stars in their own right.
Young gymnast Shanice Davison, of Albany, Washington, tumbled her way to victory last night when she was crowned overall winner of the evening as well as scooping the sport 11 to 14 award.
The 11-year-old Biddick Sports College pupil has represented Great Britain in a string of top competitions after she first discovered her talents five years ago.
In November, Shanice took part in her first World Championships, where she only just missed out on a medal, coming in fourth.
Clutching her award, the talented tumbler, who trains with Deerness High Performance Academy in Durham, said: “I’m really happy to receive both awards.
“I was really nervous but it’s really good to have both awards. I love tumbling and gymnastics and would like to carry it on.”
As part of her overall award, Shanice received £100, which she will use towards her tumbling.
SAFC defender Wes Brown was at the awards, which was held at the Stadium of Light, to present the Group Sports awards to the Blue Watch Youth Centre C2C.
He said: “It’s fantastic to see a lot of great young people from Sunderland doing so well.
“A lot of them have achieved some great things and it’s good to have these sorts of awards to show what kids are doing.
“Whether these children are helping disabled parents or doing charity work or great sports, it’s great that the good things they do are being highlighted with awards like this.”
Speaking after the ceremony, the leader of Sunderland City Council, Paul Watson said: “I’m absolutely gobsmacked to see the selflessness of the young people that we have got in the city.
“The sacrifices many make with no reward for themselves is unbelievable. We have seen people overcome incredible adversities to make things better for other people.
“It’s great to see these young people are working among us.”
•See today’s Echo for more coverage from the Young Achievers awards.
THE FULL LIST OF WINNERS
Music and Performing Arts 11-14
Winner: Christopher Stewart Turnbull
Highly Commended: Jack Loftus
Personal Achievement 11-14
Winner: Josh Dunn
Highly Commended: James William Almond
Service to the Community 11-14
Winner: Macy Youngman
Highly Commended: Sarah Behan
Academic Achievement 11-14
Winner: Emily Grace Piercy
Highly Commended: Shannon Hall
Winner: Shanice Davison
Highly Commended: Bailey Baker
Young Carer 11-14
Winner: Daryl Aldred
Highly Commended: Annabelle Clark
Winner: Chloe Tumilty
Highly Commended: Kristopher Hayes
Music and Performing Arts 15-20
Winner: Daniel John Raymond Magson
Highly Commended: Bradley Johnston
Personal Achievements 15-20
Winner: Jodie Michelle McLardy
Highly Commended: David Crone
Service to the Community 15-20
Winner: Nathan Robert Brown
Highly Commended: James Mavin
Highly Commended: Michael Purvis
Academic Achievement 15-20
Winner: Rachael Gibson
Winner: Asadollah Ibrahimi
Highly Commended: Sophie Binyon
Winner: Matt Wylie
Highly Commended: Jennifer Tatters
Young Carer 15-20
Winner: Bethany McHugh
Winner: Konner McCully
Highly Commended: Liam Waddle
Music and Performing Arts 11-20
Winner: Hip Hop Honeyz dance group
Service to the Community 11-20
Highly Commended: Venerable Bede School Anti-Bullying Group
Winner: Blue Watch Youth Centre - C2C
Highly Commended: Blue Watch Youth Centre
Overall Winner: Shanice Davison