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Top Prize for Sporting Amputee

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Top prize for sporting amputee

A teenager from Bridgend who lost both legs in an accident on a railway line on his ninth birthday has won a top UK sporting award.

Nathan Stephens, 17, beat 600 young athletes to become Disabled OCS Young Sportsperson 2005.

Nathan is ranked world number two for disabled discus, javelin and shot put and holds three British records.

He said he was delighted to have won the award and hoped to compete in the Paralympics in Beijing 2008.

The teenager was playing on the railway line when he slipped, became stuck, and was hit by a train.

He took up athletics three years ago and has since won three gold medals at the British Junior Championships - his first major competition - and been awarded the title of GB Junior Athlete of the Year.

As well as competing in three field and track disciplines, the youngster is also a winter competitor as well.

He is also the youngest person to represent Great Britain at sledge hockey in the world championships and has already been selected to compete in the winter Paralympics in Turin, Italy next March.

He also won the title of Disabled OCS Young Sportsperson 2005 and was presented with sponsorship worth £10,500 at a ceremony in London.

Nathan said the money would help him buy important equipment for training and would also take some of the pressure off his parents who support him.

"They've been working to try and keep me in sport basically," he told BBC Radio Wales.

"All the money they get either goes on petrol or training equipment so it is going to help then a lot and me".

Nathan, who is still a full-time student, said he was also on the verge of winning Elite Cymru sponsorship as well.

"My ambitions are ultimately to compete in the Paralympics in Beijing 2008 and London 2012, and this funding will help me so much toward my goals."

The awards were launched eight years ago by property support services group, OCS, to recognise and support sporting potential in young people throughout the UK.

The judges said they recognised his determination and commitment and his ability to balance his school work with sport.

OCS chief executive, Chris Cracknell said, "The awards are the culmination of many months of assessment and interviews involving hundreds of young people, each of whom deserves help and support as they set out in their sporting careers."

Taken from this page of the BBC News Website, which includes pics too.

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