Sporting Champion Award 'means as much as my US Open win' - Kyle Edmund
THERE could be no more deserving recipient of the overall 'Sporting Champion' Award than Kyle Edmund.
The Tickton tennis star has, like the rest of his fellow award winners and nominees, made plenty of sacrifices to be the best they can in their chosen sport.
But Edmund has achieved his success by travelling across the world on his own, leaving his family behind in Beverley.
It was a tough decision for the teenager to make, but one that is paying dividends.
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The 17-year-old claimed the junior US Open doubles title this year – an achievement which suggests he has the world at his feet.
But, proud to be recognised by people from his own region, he told the Mail he valued being named Sporting Champion just as much.
"This Sporting Champion award means a lot to me because it is from where I grew up," Edmund told the Mail.
"It's voted for by people from the area I represent.
"It's very important to me to be recognised for how well I've done on the tennis court.
"When my mum told me I had won, I was very pleased because there were so many impressive nominees.
"To come out on top is very rewarding and a perfect way to round off my year.
"It's hard sometimes being away from my family and friends for long periods, but getting awards like this makes it all worthwhile."
Kyle, who was also named Junior Boy of the Year (16-18), was unable to attend Thursday night's awards ceremony because of playing commitments in America.
He spoke to the Mail yesterday during a break from his latest ITF Futures tournament in Niceville, Florida.
It's his last tournament of another gruelling year before returning to England next week.
Despite only being 17, he is already climbing the world rankings at a steady pace.
When he arrived in the States a month ago, he was ranked in the 800s.
Now he is on the verge of cracking the world's top 500.
"My goal was to improve my ranking position and I'm doing that all the time. It has always been my dream to do well worldwide, and I'm fortunate to be able to do that," he said.
"This has been one of the nicer trips because I have been doing well."
When he does return to England, Kyle will thank those who have helped him achieve the success he has enjoyed.
"I want to thank my parents for keeping me grounded and making it possible for me to achieve the things I want to achieve," he added.
"I have been encouraged all the way by my coaches Richard Plews, John Black and Colin Beecher. They made me realise the harder I work, the bigger the rewards."