Libby, 11, is crowned the champion

Number one: Libby Smith, 11, is The Advertiser/Chronicle’s Sports Personality of the Year.

Number one: Libby Smith, 11, is The Advertiser/Chronicle’s Sports Personality of the Year.

First published in Local Sport

REDDITCH BMX star Libby Smith is The Advertiser/Chronicle’s Sports Personality of the Year after topping our online vote.

The gifted Greenlands girl emerged triumphant to win a fierce battle.

The St Bede’s pupil saw off the challenge of Alcester Olympic gold medallist Nick Skelton, 110-metre hurdler Andrew Pozzi, partially-sighted cricketer Luke Sugg and Paralympic bronze medallist Katrina Hart.

Smith, who is a member of Redditch Premiers, enjoyed a fine 2012, winning the Midlands and East Anglia Championships and topped the region’s rankings.

Her success was even more impressive as she suffered a host of injuries, including a broken collarbone, in 2012.

Father Scott Smith said: “Libby had plenty of ups and downs over the last year.

“She rode really well but she had plenty of injuries.

“She’s looking forward to building on the successes of last year.

“Libby is very down to earth and she didn’t want all the publicity, people kept mentioning Sports Personality at her school but she’s really just a normal girl who doesn’t want anyone to think she’s got a big head.”

The 11-year-old is now gearing up for the World Championships in New Zealand in July.

Her family is still raising money to make her dream of competing on the highest level come true.

So far, £2,000 has been found but she needs a further £4,000 to ensure she can compete at the Worlds.

One of the biggest donations has come from the Joanna Brown Trust, who have given her a grant of £500.

Anyone interested in sponsoring the gifted young rider can send an email to scott.

smith.ktm690@hotmail.co.uk or by going to facebook.com/libbysmithracing

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