The Young Kennel Club (YKC) has announced the five inspirational young people shortlisted for the next Shaun McAlpine Outstanding Young Person of the Year award, which aims to highlight and encourage YKC members’ contributions to the dog world. The award has been presented at Crufts for over 30 years by Ed and Cindy McAlpine in memory of their son Shaun, a dog handler who was killed in a road accident in November 1984 when barely 22 years old.
The five finalists are the winners of each of the five categories:
- Laura Bethan Williams, 23, has been awarded Champion of the Year "for her work and community-based volunteering for several charities, youth groups and fundraisers".
- Daisy Buckland, 15, was named Young Braveheart of the Year after "battling to overcome personal barriers with her dog to achieve success".
- Liam Landymore, 18, won Good Buddy of the Year for "showing amazing courage throughout difficult times, and turning his support into a positive experience for others".
- Antonia Leech, 19, won Sporting Talent of the Year for "her dedication, passion and energy in achieving her lifelong ambitions in handling and winning World Runner up Junior Handler in Moscow".
- Mariann Bayliss, 12, became Fundraiser of the Year by "working hard each year to raise money and awareness for dog charities by creating her own products to sell".
“Congratulations to our five outstanding finalists – they are a credit to their generation and their stories really highlight the difference a dog can make in a person’s life or vice versa," said YKC Chairman Gerald King. "Each year we receive incredible entries for young people and everyone who received a nomination should be proud of the work they have achieved, especially our five finalists – we look forward to seeing them at Crufts.”
The winners from each category will be at Crufts 2017 on Sunday 12 March for a special presentation ceremony, during which each of them will receive a YKC ambassador’s badge and award. The overall winner, chosen by online vote on Facebook, will be crowned Shaun McAlpine Outstanding Young Person of the Year and receive a prize fund up to £750, which will be used towards helping the winner progress their love of dogs.
To know more about all finalists and to vote, go here. Voting will close on Friday 3rd March 2017.