Ballykelly athlete Sally Brown on shortlist for BBC award

Ballykelly paralympic athlete Sally Brown is among the 10 contenders for the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year award.

The 16-year-old already landed a prestigious award earlier this month as she was named as the SportsAid One-to-Watch by the respected UK charity.

Sprinter Brown was born with a condition which meant that her left arm didn't fully develop.

She won a bronze medal over 200m at this year's Paralympic World Games.

Brown, who competes for the North West-based Springwell Club, won the bronze medal in her major championship debut in New Zealand in January.

The Ballykelly athlete also won a bronze medal at this year's Paralympic World Cup event in Manchester in addition to winning a gold and silver medal at the World Junior Championships.

"I have had an amazing year," said Brown, who was born missing her left hand and part of her arm.

"I have accomplished so much in such a short time - with the bronze medal at the World Championships in New Zealand starting it all off.

"I went there for the experience as I hadn't even thought that I would get selected so it was a big thing to be there.

"I think I surprised everyone because I was only 15 when I won the medal.

"The athletes was running against were in their twenties so I kind of surprised my competition."

Former World Indoor Championship bronze medallist Paul McKee has recently been brought in to assistance Brown's training programme.

McKee, who works for the Sports Institute of Northern Ireland, described the 16-year-old as a "very good athlete full stop".

"She's got a little impairment which makes things harder in terms of balance so we have to work on balance and strengthening her up but for Sally, the world is her oyster."

Brown is on course to compete at the London 2012 Paralympics but the youngster believes that she can realistically aim to compete internationally in able-bodied competition as well.

"I'd love to be fast enough to run mainstream as well," insists the Londonderry woman.

"That's my dream to do a World Championships like Oscar Pistorius has done.

"If I keep on going and keep one running personal bests every time I run, I don't see why I couldn't do that."

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