The top three contenders for BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year 2023 have been announced live on Blue Peter this evening (Friday 1 December), with GB archer Penny Healey among the final three.
Penny is joined by snowboarder Mia Brookes and wheelchair basketball player Charlie McIntyre. All three have been recognised for their outstanding achievement in the world of sport this year.
The Shropshire based archer, 18, made the move to senior competitions in 2023 but didn’t let it phase her. She spent the majority of the year ranked world number one and demonstrated her incredible talent by winning a huge number of competitions along the way. Penny took home a gold medal at the first stage of the Archery World Cup series, securing a spot at the finals in Mexico. She also achieved gold at the European Grand Prix and the European Games in Krakow, in both individual and team events, solidifying her status as a rising star. She also won a quota spot for Team GB at the Paris 2024 Olympics.
Penny said: "I feel honoured to have been shortlisted for the Young Sports Personality of the Year award! It’s been a great year and being nominated for this award on top of that makes it even better."
Tom Duggan, Archery GB Performance Director, said: "It's fantastic recognition for what has been an outstanding year for Penny with her winning the Antalya World Cup and the European Games. More important is the growth and learning she has taken which is what will help her realise her potential in the future."
Mia Brookes, 16, from Cheshire, has also had a phenomenal year, becoming the youngest ever Snowboard World Champion at the Bakuriani Freestyle World Championships. She was the first female snowboarder to land a Cab 1440 in a competition and became the first British athlete to win a Freestyle Snowboard (Slopestyle) World Championship title, alongside finishing fifth in the Big Air competition. On its own this success is incredible, but Mia achieved all of this while studying for and sitting her GCSE’s.
Charlie McIntyre, 18, from Essex, had a fantastic year representing both GB and his club, London Titans. Representing GB U22 at a Home Nations competition, Charlie led the team to an incredible undefeated 3/3 victories. While for his club, Charlie helped them to win the British Premier League as well as represented the Titans at Eurocup where individually he made the ‘All-Star 5’ three times, cementing him as one of the best players at the tournament. This summer, Charlie also signed his first professional contract for Dinamo Sassari, competing in the top division of Italian basketball.
The top three contenders were chosen by an esteemed judging panel made up of former Young Sports Personality of the Year winners Theo Walcott, Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix and Harry Aikines-Aryeetey. Double Paralympic gold medallist and World Champion rower, Lauren Rowles, also joined the panel alongside representatives from BBC Sport, Youth Sport Trust, Blue Peter and a special Blue Peter badge winner.
Andrea Spendolini Sirieix, former Young Sports Personality of the Year winner in 2020 and panellist this year, said: "It is incredible to see these athletes shining and dominating the senior field. At their age, to be able to handle that kind of pressure and bring back medals and titles is awe-inspiring. Seeing them break boundaries and stigmas on age and experience and proving how strong and powerful the youth is, makes me so proud.
"What Mia, Penny and Charlie have achieved this year is incredible. They are all rising stars and I have no doubt that they’ll excel and keep on improving and bringing back medals. We all have so much to learn from them."