TEENAGE Bradford cyclist Ella Curtis has scooped the Young Achiever of the Year prize at the Disability Sport Yorkshire annual awards.

Ella, who has Down’s Syndrome, was not perturbed by the ceremony having to take place on YouTube, and dad Tim said she has actually flourished in lockdown despite her daily routine being thrown out of sync.

The 17-year-old has had major success on three wheels, picking up a bronze medal at the Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi in March 2019 and becoming double national champion in Manchester later that year.

Talking about her Young Achiever award, her dad said: “It was a competitive field she was up against and she was still really excited last Friday night, even though the ceremony had to be on YouTube.

“She’s been pretty stoical throughout the pandemic, so she’s got used to this kind of thing. We went to a British Cycling event two days before the original lockdown (in March) and we’ve not done anything like that since.

“She’s used to everything in her life being on Zoom and online at the moment anyway, so she was still so happy to win the award.”

Mr Curtis added: “Ella’s routine has been disrupted by the pandemic and it’s been a little hard for her to understand, but she’s actually made good use of lockdown, as she’s learned to ride on two wheels.

“She’s been learning to ride distance and race length, and has even got her mum cycling too.”

Ella’s positivity is admirable, given how she has missed out on the chance to compete in so many of the events she loves.

Her dad said: “She’s had all of her competitions cancelled but since we last spoke (to the T&A), she was double British champion at Tameside in Manchester in August 2019.

“She won the 500m and 1km time trial events on her trike, which are her two specialities.

“She’d been national champion before, and she’s hoping to return to competitions soon, where she’ll be looking to enter at the first level of two wheel racing I’d imagine.

“Ella is part of a currently nine-strong Yorkshire and Humberside cycling squad, which I think contains five or six Bradfordians, for next year’s Special Olympics Great Britain.

“It was supposed to be in Liverpool this year but got cancelled, and we’re still waiting to hear about next year’s event.

“Each region sends its athletes there and if they put on a show for their counties, they’ll usually be in with a chance of making the national squad for events like the Special Olympics.”

As well as being the proud dad of Ella, Mr Curtis is also a cycling coach, and he explained: “I’m a British Cycling coach but I’m not actually affiliated to them, I work for Special Olympics Yorkshire and Humberside and for Bradford Disability Sport and Leisure.

“We’ve still got a moratorium on activities and haven’t returned as a club, so the members are desperate to get going again.”