England Rugby League player Charlotte Booth and British elite diver Ruby Bower – both students at Leeds Trinity University – have been announced as finalists at the Leeds Sports Awards 2018.
The prestigious awards ceremony, which takes place on Thursday 1 March 2018 at the First Direct Arena, recognises athletes, coaches, volunteers, clubs and organisations for their success during the previous year.
24-year-old Charlotte is shortlisted for the 'Student Sport' category against Leeds Beckett's Hockey Club and the University of Leeds' Rugby League and American Football Clubs for her part in England's Rugby League World Cup team, and 19-year-old Ruby is shortlisted for 'Young Sportswoman of the Year' after securing Gold at the European Championships in Kiev last year. She'll compete against her synchronised diving partner Phoebe Banks and British weightlifting junior champion Josephine Dobson.
Charlotte said: "It was a real honour to be told I was a finalist for the Leeds Sports Awards, especially among such other great athletes and sports teams. It is incredibly important for me that Women's Rugby League continues to grow, and to be part of such great celebrations, representing Leeds Trinity and Women's Rugby League is a real honour."
Ruby said: "I was really pleased, and also surprised, when I found out I'd been shortlisted. It feels good to have my achievements recognised alongside all the other great athletes. It's definitely different to be up against Phoebe, as we're used to working together – but it's nice to be shortlisted alongside her."
Charlotte and Ruby are both part of the Athlete Support Package at Leeds Trinity University, which offers support to athletes competing at a high level, to help them manage their sporting careers alongside their studies. Charlotte was recently awarded a bursary through the Inspiring Futures Programme to support her
Paul Smith, Interim Head of the School of Social and Health Sciences at Leeds Trinity University, said: "The whole team at Leeds Trinity are exceptionally proud of Charlotte and Ruby, and everything they have achieved in 2017. They are both deserving winners in their categories, and we wish them the best of luck for both the Sports Awards and the season ahead."
Charlotte and Ruby will join Nicola Adams OBE, Jonny Bairstow, Hannah Cockcroft OBE, Stevie Ward, Nile Wilson and many other Olympians, Paralympians and elite sportsmen and women at the awards, already announced in the Senior Achiever's category. 2,684 votes – the most to date – were cast for awards in this category which include Sportsman, Sportswoman, Sportsman – Disability, Sportswoman – Disability and Performance Coach of the Year.
In addition, a record-breaking 148 athletes were nominated for awards in the Young Achievers and Special Contribution categories which include Young Sportsman and Sportswoman, Young Club or Team for Performance and Participation, Student Sport, Volunteer, Participation Coach and more. Just 27 finalists will compete for a Leeds Sports Award in March.
Sally Nickson, Head of Sport at Leeds Beckett University and Chair of Sport Leeds, the partner organisation behind the event, said: "The Leeds Sports Awards celebrate immense sporting talent across the city – from local athletes, clubs, coaches and volunteers, to Olympians, Paralympians and World Champions. It's one of the highlights of the sporting calendar in Leeds, and we're looking forward to celebrating the success of everyone involved in sport in Leeds."
Now in its 15th year, Leeds Sports Awards are organised by Sport Leeds in partnership with sports marketing agency Banana Kick. This year's event is supported by title sponsor Leeds BID, and a host of partners and award sponsors. Sponsorship for some individual awards is still available. More than 400 people are expected to attend this year's event, which takes place for the second year at First Direct Arena.
Tickets can be bought individually, with groups and concessions available on request from organising partner Banana Kick. For more information, please visit the Leeds Sports Awards website.