Great Cornard golfing prodigy Lily May Humphreys takes to the course in the wind and rain to achieve her goals, and now the 15-year-old’s hard work has been recognised with a national nomination.
After a year which saw her win the Girls British Open Amateur Championships and the European Young Masters Championships, the Stoke-by-Nayland coached player, who is also a member of Newton Green Golf Club, has been shortlisted for SportsAid’s prestigious One-to-Watch Award.
Humphreys could potentially join a list of high-flying winners, as double Olympic medallist and current diving world champion Tom Daley won the inaugural One-to-Watch Award in 2006 and five fellow recipients competed at the Rio Games.
And, though she has received many accolades this year, Humphreys, who gets a SportsAid grant from Suffolk SportsAid Foundation, admitted this was one to savour.
“I was really happy to be on the shortlist, finding out that my hard work had paid off and that I’d been recognised was just really nice,” she said.
“A lot of time goes into it, you have to practice whatever the weather, even if it’s raining or cold, you just have to keep going and try to make sure you’re improving all the time.
“Having SportsAid support has been really helpful, it’s allowed me to play in competitions around the country and doing that has allowed me to be picked for England to play around Europe.
“SportsAid has helped me pay for quite a lot of things such as travel expenses, hotels and things like that, we have to travel for England training so it’s been a massive help for all of us.”
Humphreys is one of 10 nominees selected from more than 1,000 rising British stars supported by SportsAid across more than 60 different sports, with the winner presented at the charity’s annual SportsBall on November 23.
Dame Katherine Grainger, Britain’s most decorated female Olympian, and five-time Paralympic champion Natasha Baker are among the panel of judges for the award.
The Suffolk golfer has played in events far and wide, including the Asia Pacific Junior Championship in Hong Kong, but she will never get complacent about representing her country.
“Playing for England is always a real honour, you feel proud that you can go out there and play, see different places and see different people around the world – it’s really great,” she added.
“Having the chance to represent all these great teams like Great Britain and Europe is a great motivation, when you’re playing in the winter you always remember what it was like to play for them so you do what you can to make sure it happens again.
“I first hit a ball when I was nine, first went on a golf course when I was 10 and by 11 it became a thing I was going to do for quite a while – there’s been a lot of hard work that goes into that.”
* The winner of SportsAid’s prestigious One-to-Watch Award will be revealed at the charity’s annual SportsBall in London on Thursday, November 23. All the funds raised from the SportsBall help to support the next generation of British athletes. Please visit www.sportsball.org.uk for ticket information.