Our judges have drawn up six candidates for our two top awards the Sports Personality and Junior Sports Personality of the Year.
Choose your favourite from each of the two shortlists and have your say on who wins.
You can vote either by text (see details at bottom of story) or by completing and returning our coupon in the newspaper. Your votes exclusively will decide the winners. Good luck.
Junior Sports Personality of the Year
OLIVIA GILBERTSON (MT SPORT 1 Olivia Gilbertson)
Olivia enjoyed a phenomenal year across a wide range of different sports in 2017.
As a cricketing all-rounder she captained the Leicestershire Girls Under 13s for the first time last summer, while playing up an age group.
Olivia also spent the football season with Derby County’s girls’ academy, and was selected for county netball training.
She had to turn down the chance to play basketball with Leicester Riders because of a hectic schedule which also includes table tennis, badminton and athletics.
Olivia also helped her school team finish as county basketball champions, county netball runners-up and semi-finalists in football.
FREDDIE MCGRADY (MT SPORT 2 Freddie McGrady)
Freddie is a highly-talented young footballer and extended his time with Nottingham Forest by signing a two-year contract.
Aspiring to follow former John Ferneley College students Paul Anderson and Ollie Burke from Forest into the professional game, Freddie was a vital part of his school’s Year 8 football team which won the Melton and Rutland League.
He also helping the team to their best-ever National Cup run, reaching the fourth round when he was unable to play because of a serious injury picked up while playing for Forest.
Freddie was also part of the school’s cricket league winners and the tennis team which won the Leicestershire League and reached the Midlands finals.
Picture courtesy of John Sumpter/JMS Photography
LEXIE PETERS (MT SPORT 3 Lexie Peters)
Lexie only took up Thai boxing with Melton’s Muay Thai Assassins in April 2016, but at the start of 2017 became a British champion, just a few months after making her competitive debut.
She is fiercely committed to her sport and trains between four and six times a week, sacrificing parties and socialising for her sport, and has also developed an interest in nutrition to help her training and fitness.
Lexie picked up a bad throat infection in the run-up to a big hometown fight last November, but was determined to compete while not fully fit.
The 11-year-old still won the bout, and the following week went to Spain for the World Championships where she won all of her fights to become world champion.
Sports Personality of the Year
LES GILLETT (MT SPORT 4 Les Gillett)
The Melton and Indoor Bowls Club member has been a consistent figure in the world’s top 16 for much of the last decade, but had one of his best campaigns of his career in 2017.
Les is ranked third in the national singles circuit and moved into the world’s top 10 in October after reaching the quarter-finals of the Scottish Open. He currently stands 11th in the rankings.
But the highlight of his year came at the World Indoor Championships where he won the world pairs title with Jason Greenslade before reaching the singles semi-finals for the first time, knocking out six-time world champion Alex Marshall along the way.
BRENT HOROBIN (MT SPORT 5 Brent Horobin)
As a tennis coach and former footballer and manager, Brent has become a well-known face within Melton’s sports community among several generations and remains a passionate champion of sport in the town.
During 2017 Brent put off retirement to help Di Burdett set up a new club in the town - Melton Mowbray Tennis Club.
And far from hanging up his racket, he became more involved in coaching, particularly with the social and older players.
He helped to secure instant success on the court, with winter and summer league titles for the fledgling club’s men’s and women’s teams.
And off the court Brent has also been behind moves to renovate the ageing courts and is still busy campaigning for new facilities to match the team’s achievements.
BRENT PENNISTON (MT SPORT 6 Brent Penniston)
Kickboxing instructor Brent added to an impressive martial arts CV with another year of success for him individually and for his students.
In the autumn he claimed three titles at the World Karate and Kickboxing Council World Championships in Portugal; the fourth successive year he has been crowned a world champion.
As a proud father and instructor, Brent also coached his young sons Morgan and Logan to three gold medals and two silver medals between them at the championships.
On top of this, Brent also helped another of his pupils at the Melton club, Emmadee Fox, to three world titles.
How to Vote:
Text your vote by starting your text with
MT (followed by space) SPORT (followed by space) followed by the number of the personality you wish to vote for, exactly as it appears, then your name and email address, and send to 85100.
Texts cost 50p per vote plus your standard network rate. For example, MT SPORT 1 Joe Bloggs firstname.lastname@example.org
The closing date for voting is MIDNIGHT on Thursday, February 1, 2018.
The numbers are
MT SPORT 1 Olivia Gilbertson
MT SPORT 2 Freddie McGrady
MT SPORT 3 Lexie Peters
MT SPORT 4 Les Gillett
MT SPORT 5 Brent Horobin
MT SPORT 6 Brent Penniston
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