Young fundraiser awarded at charity’s 25th birthday celebrations by gold medal swimming star

Posted at 2:15 pm on 5th November, 2020

A 13-year-old from Urmston has been recognised for changing lives through sport in her area at the Youth Sport Trust’s (YST) national awards ceremony, supported by Sky Sports. 

To mark the 25th anniversary of the national children’s charity, a total of six YST Young Activist Awards and six Girls Active Awards were presented as part of a big virtual celebration.  

Paige McGuinness, who attends Flixton Girls School in Manchester, was named as the winner of YST’s Young Fundraiser Award - presented by Team GB swimming star and Sky Sport Scholar, Freya Anderson.

In April, Paige took part in the 2.6 challenge (launched in a bid to help struggling charities due to the pandemic). Paige raised money for YST alongside her school to support young people who are not as fortunate as her. As a gymnast, trampolinist and dancer, Paige loves sport and managed to raise £200 for the YST so the charity can continue its mission to ensure every child across the UK accesses the life-changing benefits that come from play and sport.

 YST Paige McGuiness.jpg

On receiving her award, Paige said: 

“It is a shock to win this award but I’m really happy. One of the things that I loved about doing the 2.6 Challenge and raising money for the YST was getting active with my family and doing more sports with them. I loved it.”

The charity judging panel said Paige showed personal commitment and passion to a cause she felt strongly about during Covid-19. Paige’s school, Flixton Girls School, went on to raise more than £400 for YST in the combined 2.6 Challenges.

The virtual awards ceremony was hosted by Olympian and sports broadcaster Jeanette Kwakye, with presentations made by sports stars including Team GB Tennis player Emily Appleton and Olympian and broadcaster Becky Adlington OBE. Individuals were awarded for their efforts in tackling the issues of a generation, exacerbated by Coronavirus.  

Ali Oliver MBE, Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust, said: 

 “As the Youth Sport Trust celebrates its 25th year of changing young lives through sport, I couldn’t think of a better way to mark the occasion than delivering the Young Activist awards thanks to Sky Sports and the Girls Active Awards in partnership with Women in Sport and Sport England. 

“Paige is truly deserving of this award and has shown huge passion and commitment for activating change not just for herself, but for others around her. There is compelling evidence that young people who volunteer and take part in social action develop critical skills for employment and adulthood. 

“Through Youth Sport Trust programmes, young people develop their confidence and leadership skills along with an appetite for making a difference in the world.  The young people we are honouring have been empowered to use sport to address the issues that matter to their generation. I am incredibly proud of them all.”  

The full list of the 2020 award winners is:  

YST Young Activist Award winners

National School Sport Week at Home Family Award - presented by Team GB climber, Molly Thompson-Smith: The Hindmarch family (in association with Clavering Primary School) in Hartlepool. 

Schools Recognition Award - Active Across Ages: All schools who took part in the pilot programme (accepted by Clare Mount Specialist Sports College in Wirral on behalf of all schools). 

Community Action Award - presented by Paralympic swimmer Ellen Keane: Aidan Elmore (in association with the Breaking Boundaries programme) in Barking and Dagenham. 

International Development Award - presented by tennis star Emily Appleton:  Al-Sama Cricket Girls, Girls Centre Shatila – Al-Sama Project in Beirut. 

School Games Activator Award - presented by athletics World medallist Imani-Lara Lansiquot: Jude Aston from Highfields School in Wolverhampton. 

Girls Active Award winners: 

Leader Award: Emi Dylewska from Ivanhoe College in Leicestershire

Influencer Award: Ella Gutteridge from Fulbrook Middle School in Bedfordshire

Personal Growth Award: Amy Truelove from The Redhill Academy in Nottingham

Best Group/GLAMS Award: Outward Valley Active Girls Group from Outward Academy Valley in Worksop

Future Leader Award: Imogen Burton from Clavering Primary School in Hartlepool

Best Girls Active School Award: Highfields School in Matlock, Derbyshire

The awards took place online on 3 November and saw shortlisted young people and their class bubble/year group, and young people with their parents/guardians at home join virtually for the celebrations. The charity would like to thank Sky Sports, PGL and Limitless for the donation of prizes. For more information about the Youth Sport Trust please visit

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