A Hengoed student has been singled out for national recognition for promoting healthy well-being and using sport as a tool to build resilience and battle adversity.

Caitlin Seaborne, 18, claimed the Young Health Champion award at the Youth Sport Trust Young Changemaker Awards held at St Ermin’s Hotel in Westminster.

After losing her nan to cancer and struggling with her mental health during lockdown, Caitlin was able to recover her well-being by using the power of sport to overcome her challenges.

Caitlin represented Wales schools’ football and became a double school's Welsh Champion in both Shot and Hammer while her confidence and self-esteem improved massively. Caitlin is also a national panel member in the Youth Sport Trust Welsh Young Ambassador programme, funded by Sport Wales, which supports young leaders to use their role to inspire, influence, lead, and mentor within and across education and communities, to connect and support society be healthy and active.

On winning her award, Caitlin said: “I don’t know what to say, I’m so over the moon and proud of myself.

“The challenges I’ve faced mentally and physically have been hard barriers to overcome and I feel like this award gives me a bit of recognition.

“I’m so proud of how far I’ve come over the last two to three years. I see myself as a completely different person and it’s really shaped me as a woman.

“It’s been a brilliant opportunity, it’s given me chances to branch out with different communities. I feel like I’m the voice for the younger generation in my region.”

The Youth Sport Trust Young Changemaker Awards recognise young people from across the UK and internationally who’ve worked alongside the charity to use the power of Sport and Play, to make a real impactful change to their lives and the lives of others.

A host of sporting stars presented awards to the seven winners including seven-time Paralympic Champion Hannah Cockroft OBE, and Olympic gold medallist Duncan Goodhew MBE who also co-founder of the charity back in 1995, among a star-studded guest list.

Caitlin received her award from Dame Katherine Grainger, the first British woman to win medals at five successive Olympic games. In response to Caitlin’s story Dame Katherine said: “Caitlin’s story is inspiring, humbling and quite emotional.

“She’s only 18 and she’s faced a lot of life challenges but she’s incredibly modest about what she’s done.

“She’s ambitious about the future and what she wants to achieve but goes about things with an incredible humility.”

You can find out more about each of the winners and view their winners’ films on the Youth Sport Trust website here.

The Young Changemaker Awards were preceded by an announcement earlier in the day that Sir Mo Farah has partnered with the charity as their new National School Sport Champion. Together, the Youth Sport Trust and Sir Mo launched Mo’s Mission to ensure that all young people are active in line with the UK Chief Medical Officer’s recommended minimum of ‘60 minutes a day - of PE, Sport and Play’.

Mo’s Mission is underpinned by the Youth Sport Trust’s new manifesto for change which sets out five key recommendations to create a nation of active and well schools which give every child the chance to be active for at least 60 minutes day.

You can read more about Mo’s Mission and the Youth Sport Trust manifesto here.