Adventure festival award honour for Hayfield cyclist Craig

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A Hayfield teenager with a talent for sporting success has scooped Buxton Adventure Festival’s inaugural Derbyshire Young Adventurer of the Year award.

Cyclist Tom Craig, who beat Buxton’s Sarah Lomas to the top prize, was among a host of winners at the festival’s awards ceremony last Friday, held at the University of Derby Buxton’s Oaklands Manor Outdoor Leadership Centre.

The award comes off the back of a successful season for the 16-year-old Aquinas College student, who earlier this year achieved his first national title in the British cyclo-cross championship.

In mountain-biking he gained two national wins, including the final round of the Olympic course, and went on to secure the national series.

Tom, who rides for Scott UK, also took part in the youth European championships in Austria and has secured a place on the Olympic Development Programme.

Dad Nick Craig, himself a multiple national champion in both mountain biking and cyclocross, said: “We are very proud of Thomas’ achievements and success and wish him all the best in his future.”

Dr Peter Dewhurst, Strategic Director at awards supporters the University of Derby Buxton, said: “We were delighted to launch a new award to encourage and inspire the next generation of adventurers. Tom Craig is a worthy winner.”

The judging panel, including top climber Pete Whittaker, England fell runner Stuart Bond and Hope Factory team cyclist Adela Carter, awarded the ‘Spirit of Adventure’ prize to 17-year-old sailor Jessie Wellbourn Hesp, from Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School in Ashbourne.

The ‘Young Leader of the Year’ title was shared between two outstanding all-round athletes, 14-year-old Cameron Orr and 16-year-old Laurie Butler, both from Anthony Gell School in Wirksworth.

Each category winner was presented with a trophy and all of the nominees received a medal.

Craig won a trip for two to the 2014 Junior Adventure Racing World Cup in the French High Alps for himself and a friend, including travel and accommodation. Prizes were also awarded to the other category winners.

Buxton Adventure Festival Director Matt Heason added: “We’ve been blown away by the standard and number of entries for our first ever awards.

“Who knows – perhaps we’ll be welcoming some of them back as speakers at future festivals?”

Results - Young Adventurer of the Year: winner, Tom Craig; silver, Sarah Lomas; bronze, Gracie Martin. Spirit of Adventure: gold, Jessie Wellbourne Hesp; silver, Harvey Martin; bronze, Daniel Wellbourne Hesp. Young Leader of the Year: Cameron Orr and Laurie Butler.