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A teenager from Calverton has been named in a “super seven” of young people from across the county who have been recognised for overcoming adversity

Sam Watson, 17, was named as district winner for Gedling in the 4Uth Award after continuing to rise above a number of personal challenges in his life.

The 4uth awards are a Nottinghamshire County Council initiative that celebrates the achievements of young people across the county.

The achievements of the seven district winners will be celebrated at a ceremony at Nottinghamshire County Hall on October 27. The overall county winner will also be announced.

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Sam was nominated for the award by his youth worker Sean Ryan.

The teenager has battled bravely to ensure a serious spinal condition hasn’t preventsed him from competing in his favourite sport – football.

Despite being told by medics that he would be unable to continue playing mainstream football when he was seven due to suffering from scoliosis, the teenager is now making a big impact in the sport by playing in competitions aimed at those with a disability.

Sam has already represented the county and now England in disabled competitions – playing recently at St George’s Park – home to the FA’s national training centre.

As well as battling bravely against his spinal condition, Sam is also being recognised for the brave way he coped with the death of his mother Michelle last year.

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His mother died of a lung rejection in July last year less than 12 months after receiving a double lung transplant.

Sam had to provide important care and support for his mum before she died, despite also undertaking his GCSEs.

The 17-year-old now lives with dad Jim and siblings Christopher, Laura and James.

He now has taken up an apprenticeship with the NHS and starts as a health care assistant this month.

Sam was nominated for the award by his youth worker Sean Ryan.

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Sean said: Since birth, Sam has been challenged with a life impacting spinal condition called scoliosis, which affects the body’s ability to move and function properly. Despite numerous hospital visits, operations and setbacks, Sam has battled bravely not to allow his condition hold him back in life.

“Sam’s unwavering attitude in the face of adversity, setbacks and tragedy, has earned him much respect and admiration from his peers. He has become a humble role model who carries a powerful and inspiring message about courage and perseverance – to quote Sam: ‘no matter what obstacles you face in life, keep going, you can achieve your goals.”

Councillor Tracey Taylor, Vice-Chairman of the Children and Young People’s Committee, at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “It is a remarkable achievement for Sam to have represented England and Nottinghamshire at football, and he has shown great resilience and courage in his life to achieve so much.

Many congratulations to Sam on being named as the Gedling district 4Uth award winner.”

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