TASS Stars Shine In Face Of Pandemic Challenge

The next generation of sporting heroes have been recognised at the 2020 TASS Stars Awards.

The calibre of this year’s nominees proves that the elite athletes of the future aren’t fazed by the coronavirus crisis.

And staying true to the values of the TASS community, this year’s award winners continue to triumph in the face of adversity.

Former Olympic gymnast and TASS alumnus Kristian Thomas sat on the 2020 judging panel and said: “Firstly I’d like to offer huge congratulations to all of the nominees and award winners.

“I had the pleasure and tough task of choosing the winners.

“And it was brilliant to hear about some of their incredible achievements and see how these young and talented athletes are progressing in and out of their sport.

“The vast range of sports represented was remarkable.

“It was clear to see the dedication of these athletes, the sacrifices they’ve made and the challenges they’ve overcome during unprecedented times.

“I wish all of the TASS athletes the best of the luck as they start their new academic year.”

Volleyball brothers Javier and Joaquin Bello bagged this year’s big award after fighting off competition from Francesca Maini (kite foiling) and Tim Nurse (hockey) to be named Athlete Of The Year.

And the talented siblings told TASS: “We are so honoured to be recognised by TASS and it feels great to be rewarded for the work that we have done.

“For sure it’s going to motivate us to continue on the right path and keep working hard into 2021.”

Alpine skier Robert Holmes was named Most Inspirational athlete after pipping James Baxter (swimming) and Rebecca Wilding (rowing) to the TASS Stars award.

He said: “I was really surprised to pick up an award and it means a lot to me! It’s nice to know that people are starting to recognise all of my hard work.”

And Tia McGarry edged out runners-up Gareth Griffith (hockey), Guy Anderson (modern pentathlon) and Beth Moulan (Boccia) to clinch this year’s Most Committed award.

“Being recognised by TASS makes all the training and hard work worthwhile,” she said. “Not just for me but for everyone around me.”

The winners were completed by Boccia star William Arnott (Most Determined award) and archer James Woodgate (Most Potential award).

And former alpine skier Rachelle Rogers (TASS alumna and TAAG member), who sat alongside Kristian Thomas on the judging panel, was full of praise for this year’s outstanding young prospects.

“As an athlete, sometimes it can be hard to see and appreciate other people’s achievements because you’re so busy focusing on your own endeavours,” she said.

“However, in what has been a challenging year for the human race, let us take a moment to be inspired and encouraged by the incredible achievements of our TASS cohort.

“All of the nominees have, in their own way, achieved exceptional things over the past year and it was an absolute pleasure to read each and every one of the nominations which collectively represented a whole range of sports and ages.

“To all TASS athletes, keep up the good work of being dual career athletes, both on and off the field of play.”

The full list of 2020 TASS Stars award winners and runners-up is as follows:

Most Determined

WINNER: William Arnott (Boccia)

Runners-up: Daniel Thompson (Archery) and Lewis Gosling (Gymnastics)


Most Inspirational

WINNER: Robert Holmes (Alpine Skiing)

Runners-up: James Baxter (Swimming) and Rebecca Wilde (Rowing)


Most Committed

WINNER: Tia McGarry (Diving)

Runners-up: Gareth Griffiths (Hockey), Guy Anderson (Modern Pentathlon) and Beth Moulam (Boccia)


Most Potential

WINNER: James Woodgate (Archery)

Runners-up: Ben Jones (Tennis) and Johnnie Torjussen (Badminton)


Athlete of the Year

WINNER: Javier Bello & Joaquin Bello (Beach Volleyball)

Runners-up: Francesca Maini (Kite foiling) and Tim Nurse (Hockey)


Look out for full interviews with all of this year’s TASS Stars award winners very soon.