Photo © Steve Pope
West Wales sailor Ellie Meopham has been chosen for one of the top awards for up-and-coming Welsh sports stars, reward for a great season when she has become British champion for the second time.
She was one of the runners-up for the SportingWales Rising Star Awards, a title which was won by Swansea and Wales footballer Ben Davies. Meopham succeeds the likes of Lions star George North and quadruple world champion cyclist Becky James as a runner-up in these awards – such is the high standard every year.
Fishguard's Meopham was competing in the European Championships so the award was collected by proud parents Ian and Kate, with Welsh Sailing's high performance manager Alistair Dickson making the presentation (pictured).
Davies received the Bob Humphrys Trophy for 2012/13 in succession to Olympic gold medallist Jade Jones and European Amateur golf champion Rhys Pugh, capping a season in which he became a regular for Swansea and made his Wales debut.
He claimed the top award ahead of some tough competition, with the other two runners-up being rugby player Cory Allen and swimmer Chloe Tutton.
The SportingWales Rising Star awards are designed to recognise the best up-and-coming talent in Wales across all sports, sponsored by Sport Wales, Cardiff Metropolitan University, the Village Hotel group along with media partners SportingWales magazine.
"This is a great honour for Ellie and we are delighted to collect it on her behalf," said Ian Meopham. "Someone pointed out to her that this year she had a chance to beat all the boys in the British championships, so she set her mind to doing just that.
"Even then we could not have imagined her doing it with a day to spare."
Dickson added, "Ellie has had some excellent results this year and we were looking forward to seeing how she gets on in the World Junior Championships later this year.
"If she sets her mind on reaching the top then she has every chance of following in the footsteps of people like Olympic silver medallist Hannah Mills."
Meopham won the British Laser title for the second year running, beating all the boys to become the overall winner. That gave her a place in the team to compete in the ISAF Junior World Championships, aiming to improve on her fourth place last season.