Finalists named for 2018 TASS Stars Awards

TASS Stars Awards graphic


A host of talented athletes from across the country have been named as 2018 TASS Stars Awards finalists in special recognition of their achievements in sport and study this year.

Fourteen TASS-supported athletes from a range of sports have been shortlisted from scores of nominations showcasing the student athletes’ successes both on and off the field.

Boccia player Jabe Peake, shooter Zara Dunford and wheelchair basketball player Lucy Robinson have been selected in the Most Determined category, while triple jumper Naomi Ogbeta, modern pentathlon’s Sarah Collin and freestyle skier Justin Taylor-Tipton have been named as Most Inspirational finalists.

In the Most Committed category, rugby league player George Milton, deaf football’s Byron Down and modern pentathlete George Budden are in the running for an award, with fencer Ben Bates, weightlifter Jenny Tong and sprinter Maya Bruney having been shortlisted in the Most Potential category.

For the TASS Star of the Year award, two Commonwealth bronze medallists are in contention; table tennis player Maria Tsaptsinos and Army shooter Sam Gowin, with the third finalist’s spot taken by triple jump British Champion, Naomi Ogbeta.

A number of universities across England will be represented by the athletes as their TASS Delivery Sites, including Bath, Leeds and Solent, with Nottingham, Birmingham, Sheffield Hallam and University of East London (UEL) leading the way having each supported two finalists respectively.

The shortlist, who have all been beneficiaries of the TASS programme in the past academic year, were nominated by a professional from their sport’s NGB, practitioners from their Delivery Site or their peers, and were selected following a rigorous scoring process.

Nominations were made across five categories designed to celebrate the attributes of a successful dual career athlete: Most Inspirational, Most Determined, Most Committed, Most Potential and Star of the Year.

A panel of experts including triple jump world record holder, Jonathan Edwards and 2017 Star of the Year winner, boxer Georgia O’Connor, were tasked with determining the prize winners who will be revealed at a presentation event on Saturday 21 July.

All fourteen finalists are invited to celebrate their outstanding achievements with tickets to an afternoon of world class athletics at the Müller Anniversary Games, where the five winners will be announced and awarded with a TASS Stars Awards trophy.

TASS National Director, Guy Taylor said: “Following the success of last year’s awards we were keen to once again shine a spotlight on the TASS athletes who are excelling in both their sport and study.

“At TASS we understand how difficult it can be to juggle the demands of training, competition and full time education, so we believe it’s important to recognise those who not only succeed, but thrive on the challenge.

“We hope the TASS Stars Awards will provide a platform to share the incredible achievements of these young people who prove without a doubt that sport and study can be a winning combination.”

Most Inspirational

Awarded to a TASS athlete who possesses infectious enthusiasm and a positive attitude, has shown creativity in their sport and/or study, or has demonstrated sportsmanship.

  • Naomi Ogbeta (Athletics/Manchester)
  • Sarah Collin (Modern Pentathlon/Bath)
  • Justin Taylor-Tipton (Snow sports/Nottingham)

Most Determined

Awarded to a TASS athlete who has been adaptable, overcome challenges or demonstrated resilience in order to pursue their sport and/or study.

  • Jabe Peake (Boccia/Cambridge)
  • Zara Dunford (Shooting/Birmingham)
  • Lucy Robinson (Wheelchair basketball/Sheffield Hallam)

Most Committed

Awarded to a TASS athlete who has shown dedication to both study and/or sport, including excellent time management and balancing demands.

  • George Milton (Rugby league/Leeds)
  • Byron Down (Disability football/UEL)
  • George Budden (Modern Pentathlon/Solent)

Most Potential

Awarded to a TASS athlete who is deemed to be a “one to watch” in the future in either their sport and/or study.

  • Ben Bates (Fencing/Birmingham)
  • Jenny Tong (Weightlifting/Sheffield Hallam)
  • Maya Bruney (Athletics/UEL)

Star of the Year

Awarded to a TASS athlete as recognition of their outstanding achievement this year in their sport and/or study.

  • Maria Tsaptsinos (Table tennis/Nottingham)
  • Sam Gowin (Shooting/Aldershot)
  • Naomi Ogbeta (Athletics/Manchester)

*Terms and conditions apply. Please see below for further details.

The Müller Anniversary Games will take place at London’s Olympic Stadium (Credit: Reuters)

Terms and Conditions

  1. Nominees must be a TASS athlete in 2017/18.
  2. Nominations will not be accepted from or in respect of athletes who have been removed from the scheme on the grounds of non-engagementor misconduct.
  3. Nominations open at 2:00pm on Friday 25 May 2018 and close at 11:59pm on Sunday 17 June 2018.
  4. Nominations must be made online using the designated online forms.
  5. Nominations via email, social media or any other channel will not be accepted.
  6. Nominations (using a supporting statement of no more than 300 words each) can be made in five categories: Most Inspirational, Most Determined, Most Committed, Most Potential, Star of the Year.
  7. Athletes can only be nominated for up to two categories each only.
  8. Nominations can be made by TASS athlete themselves or any member of the athlete’s entourage, including but not limited to: a peer, parent/guardian, coach, Delivery Site Lead or NGB Lead. Where any individual other than the TASS athlete makes a nomination, they must obtain the prior permission from the TASS athleteto do so, which may be withdrawn and notified to TASS at any time.
  9. Up to fifteen finalists (up to three per category) will be shortlisted by TASS and notified by Friday 29 June 2018.
  10. Should a nominee or finalist wish to have their entry withdrawn, theymay do so at any time by notifying TASS directly via We would politely request that any such withdrawals be made at the earliest opportunity (and preferably no later than Monday 2 July 2018) to help with presentation event logistics.
  11. Finalists are invitedto attend the Müller Anniversary Games on Saturday 21 July 2018 from 10:00am until 5:00pm and are permitted to bring along one guest each.
  12. TASS will cover finalists’ travel expenses to attend the Müller Anniversary Games on Saturday 21 July 2018 but not the travel or other expenses of their accompanying guests.
  13. A judging panel (consisting of Jonathan Edwards, Georgia O’Connor, the TASS Director and a TASS Management Group member) will consider the applications of the shortlisted finalists and individually score each nominee against the appropriate category criteria for which they been nominated. For each category, all the judging panel scores for each nominee will be added together and the athlete with the greatest score will be deemed to be the winner. In the event of a tie in scores, the TASS Director will select the winner from those tied.
  14. There shall be no appeal against the judging panel results – their decision is final.
  15. Winners will be announced before the Müller Anniversary Games on Saturday 21 July 2018 at a presentation event.
  16. Five winners (one per category) will receive a TASS Stars Awards trophy.
  17. Prize is as described, not transferable and there is no cash alternative.
  18. All nominees are requested to participate in TASS publicity activities relating to the nomination process and awards event, as set out in their nomination form and in line with TASS’ data protection policy.