A Stafford student has been singled out for national recognition for his leadership and determination to grow awareness and understanding of inclusivity in sport.

Oliver Dempsey, 10, claimed the Young Activist award at the Youth Sport Trust Young Changemaker Awards held at St Ermin’s Hotel in Westminster.

After being inspired by the Sport4All events at Weston Road Academy, Dempsey joined Stoke Spitfires Wheelchair Basketball Club and has become a keen member of their junior team.

Oliver was instrumental in bringing wheelchair basketball to the School Games in the Stafford area, a programme funded by Sport England and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust. Oliver helped his local School Games Organiser Susie Stinton to plan the events, then coached, umpired, competed and most importantly inspired able and disabled people to enjoy a new sport and grow their understanding of inclusivity in sport, showcasing his commitment to breaking barriers and changing perceptions of disability sport.

Oliver continues to throw himself into sports leadership, becoming a ‘Playground Leader’, organising sports activities for younger children during lunchtime one day a week.

Upon receiving his award. Oliver said: “It feels amazing to win, I haven’t been to London before, and I was so excited for that because I’ve always wanted to go, and it’s been great to see the Tower Bridge.

“I’ve met Mo Farah too and that was so cool.

“The Youth Sport Trust has helped me to feel more inclusive and make me want to teach people more about wheelchair sports.

“I love playing wheelchair basketball and I want to tell everyone in the world that wheelchair sports aren’t just for the disabled, it’s for non-wheelchair users too and it’s one of the most fun things that you’ll ever do.”

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-founded the charity back in 1995, among a star-studded guest list.

Oliver received his award from practising NHS GP, television, radio and podcast broadcaster author, campaigner for wellbeing and Youth Sport Trust Ambassador Dr Radha Modgil.

In response to Oliver’s story Dr Radha said: “Science tells us that exercise is great for sleeping patterns and how we concentrate at school and learning and development but there are so many other skills to be gained, confidence, self-esteem, leadership, teamwork, social skills.

“Oliver is one of heart-warming cases of children and young people finding confidence and a voice through sport that we really don’t place enough emphasis on.”

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.