Billy Ellerington won the national children’s charity’s Beckwith CARE Young Changemaker Award during a ceremony in Telford on 1 March. The awards recognise and reward best practice and achievements through PE, play and sport by schools, colleges, and young people. 

St Martins by Air

With early diagnosis of ADHD, Tourette’s and associated learning difficulties, Billy found he faced many challenges growing up, including a permanent exclusion from mainstream secondary. He found himself in a specialist setting which in his own words 'changed his life' after discovering the power of sport. Billy has used his own experiences to educate and inspire others. He has delivered training for senior school leaders, coached & led sports/fitness sessions for students and recorded a podcast with Professor Barry Carpenter. Last summer, he fronted a campaign – the Active Summer Challenge - for the Youth Sport Trust, even learning some British Sign Language to make it inclusive for all.   

He said: “Helping other people reach their goals and really changing a child’s life, not just physically but mentally, with the power of sport is massive. I’ve gained self-management and a lot of confidence which has helped me with my Tourette’s Syndrome and ADHD to stay levelled with everyone around me and stay focused on my challenge ahead.” 

Supported by teaching staff, Billy has shown how passionate he is in ensuring there is an accessible, inspiring and meaningful offer for all children and their families.  

Billy at the Awards

Ali Oliver MBE, Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust, said: 

“The Youth Sport Trust would like to congratulate Billy, the winner of our Beckwith CARE Award. Billy has demonstrated a huge commitment to the important role of PE, play and sport in improving young people’s mental health.  

“This generation is moving less, spending more time online and has experienced major changes in their lives following the Covid-19 pandemic. On top of this, increased social inequality amplified by the cost-of-living crisis are creating a ripple effect on their school and home life. It is thanks to changemakers like Billy that they will grow up healthier and happier.” 

The Youth Sport Trust Annual Awards dinner was themed around ‘A year of Changemakers’ following the success of the Lionesses and Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games heroes who helped to inspire a generation and movement across grassroots sport. It took place at the Telford International Centre. A total of nine awards were presented by host, TV personality and author Radzi Chinyanganya with former Lioness Jill Scott MBE making a special appearance. 

The wider Youth Sport Trust 2023 Conference takes place in Telford today (2 March) with hundreds of headteachers, school sport professionals and businesses in attendance. The event will see Dr Alex George, former A&E now TV doctor and Youth Mental Health Ambassador for 10 Downing Street, and author of ‘A Better Day’ give an opening address alongside other high-profile speakers including a virtual address from the Secretary of State for Education, Nick Gibb MP. 

Attendees will also have the chance to network, make new connections, and take part in workshops. 

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This press release is reproduced from Youth Sports Trust