PARALYMPIAN Ellie Challis was recognised by Active Essex as she won a top award.

Ellie, 17, from Clacton, won the Young Sports Personality of the Year award at the Essex Activity Awards.

Following on from representing and winning silver for Great Britain in Tokyo, Ellie was handed the award during the virtual ceremony.

The award given was for her amazing achievements at the Paralympics along with her dedication to swimming.

Ellie, who had to have her legs amputated below the knee and arms below the elbow after suffering meningitis and sepsis as a baby, said: “I went into the Tokyo Games to use as an experience, and I really didn’t expect a medal at all.

“Coming away with a silver medal was definitely unexpected and to win Young Sports Personality just tops off a great year.”

The annual Essex Activity Awards celebrate the outstanding contributions to physical activity and sport.

The virtual event was hosted by GP and TV presenter Dr Zoe Williams, alongside Danny Crates, Paralympic gold medallist.

A huge variety of achievements were showcased, from elite athletes and grassroot clubs as well as community groups and those who have only recently found their active sides.

The winners were officially announced during a live-streamed ceremony at Chelmsford City Racecourse.

Ellie was not the only Essex resident and Tokyo medallist to win an award on the night.

BMX Olympic gold medallist and Finchingfield resident Bethany Shriever was crowned Sports Personality of the Year, following an impressive year at both Tokyo 2020 and the world championships.

Azeem Akhtar, chairman of Active Essex, said: “It is crucial we were able to celebrate not only our county’s sporting achievements but also the individuals and organisations that are encouraging participation at every level.

“Throughout the online ceremony it highlighted the importance of working closely together as a county to keep our communities active.

“I’d like to thank everybody that played a part in this years’ Essex Activity Awards.

“From the public who submitted a record breaking 800 nominations and voted for their local heroes, to our wonderful sponsors and fantastic finalists, who are all championing physical activity across Essex, Southend and Thurrock.”