Sports Personality of the Year: Young contenders announced

Tully Kearney, Ellie Downie and Tom Marquand
Shortlisted contenders Tully Kearney, Ellie Downie and Tom Marquand
BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2015
Date: Sunday, 20 December. Venue: SSE Arena, Belfast. Time: 18:50-21:00 GMT. Coverage: BBC One, Radio 5 live, BBC Sport website.

Gymnast Ellie Downie, para-swimmer Tully Kearney and jockey Tom Marquand are on the final shortlist for the BBC Young Sports Personality award.

The top three have been chosen by an expert panel from an original list of 10 contenders.

This year's winner will be announced at the Sports Personality show, live on the BBC from Belfast on 20 December.

Past winners have included footballer Wayne Rooney, diver Tom Daley and tennis player Andy Murray.

The shortlisted 2015 trio were selected from nominations made to the BBC by sports governing bodies via the Youth Sport Trust and in partnership with CBBC's Blue Peter programme.

"It is really inspiring to see such great talent coming through in the world of sport," said Will Roberts, assistant director at the Youth Sport Trust.

"We had a difficult time narrowing the list down from 10 to three as all of these young sports men and women have a dazzling future ahead of them and have shone brightly in 2015. We wish them all the best of luck for the night."

The top three have been chosen from an original list of 10 which also included Brinn Bevan (Gymnastics), Sam Curran (Cricket), Sophie Hahn (Para-Athletics), Morgan Lake (Athletics), Matthew Lee (Diving), Molly Summerhayes (Winter Sport-Freestyle Ski) and Rebekah Tiler (Weightlifting).

The BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year is awarded to an outstanding young sportsperson who was aged 17 or under on 1 January 2015.

Gymnast Claudia Fragapane won the award in 2014 after her triumph at last year's Commonwealth Games.

Full terms and conditions on BBC Young Sports Personality 2015 and other awards.

2015 Young Sports Personality award contenders

Ellie Downie - Gymnastics

Ellie Downie
Age: 16
From: Nottingham
• Bronze in the all-around at the European Championships - the first female gymnast to win an individual all-around medal for Great Britain, in her first senior year
Team bronze at the World Championships - Great Britain women's first team medal. Also came fourth in the vault and sixth on the floor in this competition

Ellie is the younger sister of Team GB Olympian Becky Downie. Ellie's commitment to her education led her to achieve 5 GCSEs at A-C, while competing internationally winning multiple medals in various competitions. In doing so, she secured a place at her first-choice sixth-form college. Alongside sister Becky, Ellie also regularly hosts training sessions at her gymnastics club where children get the chance to train with her.

Tully Kearney - Para-swimming

Tully Kearney
Age: 18
From: Aldridge
4 x gold, 1 x silver and 1 x bronze at the IPC World Swimming Championships in Glasgow
• Competed in seven competitions in 2015
• This year she has improved her 200m Individual Medley time by 10 seconds and lowered three European records in the 400m Freestyle, the 200m IM and the 100m Butterfly during the World Championships

Five years ago, Tully was merely a spectator watching her mum, Amanda, swimming for fun. Tully has a progressive neurological condition that causes muscle weakness, and was reclassified earlier this year. Tully's first appearance on the international stage was in 2013, where she won one gold, three silver medals and three bronze medals in her age group at the 25th German Open Meet in Berlin.

Tom Marquand - Horse racing

Tom Marquand
Age: 17
From: Cheltenham
• 54 winners in his maiden season
Champion apprentice title external-link- the award for young jockeys based on who rides the most winners during the season
• 26th in the Stobart Flat Jockeys' Championship (with just five fewer wins than Frankie Dettori)

Tom first attended the British Racing School in 2012 for Pony Racing tuition. Tom quickly advanced through the Pony Racing Training and in his final season attended a week-long course for the 10 most promising pony racing jockeys in the UK.

Richard Hannon Jr, a previous champion trainer of racehorses and Tom's boss, has said: "There's no doubt Tom has the ability to go all the way. He rides very well and is a pleasant lad who works hard and deserves all the success he has had these past 12 months."

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