Junior gymnast Raekwon Baptiste scoops Young Sportsperson of the Year Award

Raekwon Baptiste
At the 2017 OCS Young Sports Person Awards, junior gymnast Raekwon Baptiste was announced as the winner of the main award of the evening, the Young Sportsperson of the Year Award.

We caught up with Raekwon during his training camp with the GB squad at Lilleshall National Sports Centre to find out how he felt about winning the award, and his hopes for the future.

Raekwon, OCS Young Sports Person of the Year! Talk us through the evening.
"I was really quite excited because I’ve never been to an awards evening before or anything like that, so I was excited and yet nervous because I wanted to make sure I did everything right. The night was really good and it was an added bonus was that I won."

What do you think it was that made you stand out over the last year?
"I think, for me, it was probably winning international medals. I’ve done three internationals and at all of them I’ve come in the top three which I’m quite proud of. I think I’ve come first, second and third so I think that contributed a bit."

Moving forward, what’s your dream in gymnastics and what are your hopes in the next few years?
"Short term, I’d love to go to the Europeans and then hopefully to the Youth Olympics. Long term, of course it’s the Olympics, that’s the main dream, and hopefully Japan in 2020."

How would you describe the type of gymnast you are?
"I’d describe myself as quite a powerful gymnast in that I can harness a lot of my strength quite well. I think my best piece would be rings at the moment, as I’m managing to do quite a lot of strength skills and execute things well."

What’s it like being part of the GB junior set up? What are the training camps at Lilleshall like?
"The first time I came to the training camp, I was nervous, but each time I came here the boys and the coaches were so welcoming and made me feel a lot better. No matter which gym you come from your always made to feel like you have a home here. Training just reinforces that. You make friends from all over Britain. These camps give you the experience with all the other boys, being able to build that team spirit."

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