Two national awards for Sophie

Sophie Jackson, 17,
Sophie Jackson, 17,

Seventeen-year-old Sophie Jackson has collected two national awards from the governing bodies for water polo in the space of a week.

They were given in recognition of the Halifax player’s contribution to the success of the Great Britain and England teams in the latest season.

Her most noteworthy moment came for her goal keeping at the European Championships in August. Her save in a penalty shoot-out took the team to their best ever result and secured automatic qualification for the World Championships in Belgrade next year.

Sophie’s first award was Emerging Female Athlete of the Year for Water Polo, which she received from British Swimming at their awards night in Manchester.

The formal dinner at the Emirates Old Trafford Events Centre provided a perfect backdrop for the occasion and gave her the opportunity to meet Tom Daley and Adam Peaty, who were also there to receive awards.

A week later she won the Performance Athlete of the Year award, given by Swim England at their ceremony in Birmingham.

“I was really surprised and pleased to win these awards.  It’s great to get recognition, but water polo is a team sport and we’ve been so successful this year because everyone worked really hard and played their best,” she said.

Sophie is studying for three A levels at Crossley Heath School and hoping to study architecture at university next year.

As there aren’t many opportunities for water polo development after reaching 18 in the UK, she has applied to several universities in America, where collegiate level water polo is some of the best in the world.

She is in discussions to try and secure a sports scholarship that will allow her to study in the US and continue playing.