Beth Tweddle excited for 2022 National Lottery Athlete of the Year

·3-min read
Olympics - London 2012 Olympic Games - North Greenwich Arena - 29/7/12 Gymnastics - Artistic - Women's Qualification - Great Britain's Beth Tweddle reacts after her uneven bars score is announced Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Paul Childs Livepic PLEASE NOTE: FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY (AI Project / reuters)

British gymnastics icon Beth Tweddle has urged the public to get voting to decide the 2022 National Lottery Athlete of the Year.

Ten athletes from the across the UK have made the shortlist after excelling in the past few months across the Winter Olympics, Commonwealth Games and recent European Championships.

The National Lottery Athlete of the Year category recognises the performances and legacy of our sporting heroes and showcases the impact of National Lottery funding on elite sport.

Tweddle, a three-time world champion and London 2012 bronze medallist, announced the shortlist on Monday, and now wants the public to make their voice heard.

She said: “For athletes, obviously we do our job in hand to win medals or achieve PBs in the sport. When you get a publicly recognised award, it’s always nice because ultimately, they are watching you, you’re creating an enjoyment factor for someone else. The fact that the public are then voting for you, taking the time out to actually vote for you is nice recognition.

“There has been so much sport. The year started off well with the Winter Games, this summer has just been crazy, Wimbledon, followed by the Euros, followed by the World Athletics, World Swimming then we had the Commonwealth Games, the Europeans.

“I think for the athletes, they knew it was going to be a busy year, they have enjoyed being back in arenas with crowds, that makes a big difference.

“So please, get voting for any of these incredible athletes – they're counting on your support.”

Since National Lottery funding for Olympic and Paralympic sport started in 1997, British athletes have won more than 1,000 medals across the Summer and Winter Games.

Many of those who captured the nation’s imagination and struck gold in Beijing and Birmingham have been supported by the £30 million raised every week by players of The National Lottery.

The shortlist recognises many of the stars of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham including hometown boxer Delicious Orie and rising gymnastics superstar Jake Jarman.

Eilish McColgan, who won 10,000m gold on the track 36 years after her mother Liz had done the same, also makes the cut, as does weightlifting gold-medallist Emily Campbell.

Alice Tai, who had her leg amputated in January and recovered in time to win in Birmingham joins Olivia Breen, who finally beat long-time rival Sophie Hahn after nine years of trying, on the list.

There are also spots for Northern Irish boxer Michaela Walsh, victorious at her third Commonwealths, while diver Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix is recognised for her incredible summer.

Para-alpine skier Neil Simpson is rewarded for his performance at the Paralympics in Beijing, along with guide and brother Andrew. And last, but by no means least, Laura Kenny rounds off the list after her remarkable gold medal at the Commonwealth Games a matter of months after she was found to be having an ectopic pregnancy.

The victorious athlete (or athletes) will receive an iconic National Lottery Awards trophy.

Choose your National Lottery Athlete of the Year by checking out the shortlist and voting either on Twitter @lottogoodcauses with the hashtag #NLAwards or on www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards - entries must be received by 5pm on Wednesday 31st August 2022.