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Young Lee shortlisted for BBC sports award

KENT teenager Lee Lower, confined to a wheelchair with spina bifida, is on the short-list of 10 for the 2001 BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year award. The new award is intended for sporting achievers still 16 or under who it is thought could go on to become the sporting stars of the future.

Lee, 16, of Cleavers Close, Sissinghurst, near Cranbrook, was first encouraged to enter a sports competition at the age of 12 by his school, Valence School, Westerham. He came away with three wins from three events.

He has since gone on to become National Junior Champion for javelin, discus and shot putt and he holds the British Under-17 records for shot at 6.10m and for discuss at 17.10m. He was selected by the British Wheelchair Athletics Association to compete in the Junior International Wheelchair Championships at New Jersey in America in July and he came home with two golds and a silver.

Lee, was selected for the shortlist from 600 nominations made to BBC's Blue Peter programme. His mother, Edwina Lower, said the family was waiting with bated breath for the top three nominees to be selected on the Blue Peter programme next Friday, December 7.

The three will be invited to the BBC Sports Personality of the Year on Sunday, December 9, when the winner will be announced.

Meanwhile, Lee, who hopes to compete for Britain at the 2004 Paralympics in Athens, has transferred to the sixth form at Angley School, Cranbrook, where he is studying PE and ICT.

He said: "It was great to make the shortlist but now I am getting quite nervous.

"I 've told a few people and everyone's been really supportive. But it's beginning to sink in that if I am lucky enough to be selected I shall have to go on TV."

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