Harrogate teenager behind Adversity United beats thousands for National Diversity Awards shortlist

Cameron Osburn is among the final eight candidates
Cameron Osburn is among the final eight candidates

Out of more than 24,000 nominees the Harrogate teenager behind a new U-12 disability football club has been shortlisted for a national award in recognition of his work as a role model for the community.

It was announced earlier this month that the founder of Adversity United, Cameron Osburn , 17, is among the final eight candidates in the Positive Role Model Award for Disability category of the National Diversity Awards 2018.

Cameron founded Adversity United, an U-12 disability football club last year

Cameron founded Adversity United, an U-12 disability football club last year


The awards are an effort to celebrate community heroes across the country, people who inspire others through their work and do so in the face of adversity.

Living with Cerebral Palsy himself Cameron established the team with the aim of opening up the beautiful game to other disabled children almost a year ago.

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His mother, Clair Osburn said: “It is quite amazing to see him at this point, for a 17-year old to get to the final eight in a national competition.


“I know for Cameron this is encouraging him to keep on going and show that young people can do things which really make a positive impact on the community, and I hope that other kids can see that.”
She added: “I know he is just overwhelmed to hear he has gotten this far, especially when he looks at the other people in his category as some of them have MBEs.
“Despite this he is staying grounded, and keeping it in his stride.”

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Around 300 nominations poured in from across the district for Cameron, and it was Vicki Lever,Youth Development Worker of North Yorkshire Youth who first put his name forward for the award.


She said: “I put his name forward because I believe in what he is trying to do, with determination and a good work ethic.
Everything he does is for that club, for the children and their families.
“He doesn’t think about himself when he is doing this, and it is a remarkable how much of his own time he gives up.”

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Cameron has previously spoken of his own experiences growing up with Cerebral Palsy, and attempting to pursue his love of football. Although able to join a local football club he felt he was not accepted.
Now he hopes to see his own team grow, potentially offering additional age groups, while developing as a player and coach himself.
In doing so he is aiming to contribute towards raising the profile of disability sport as an ambassador and encouraging others to take part.

Adversity United currently has around 14 players and they practice regularly at Harrogate Grammar School.


Giving thanks to Cameron’s supporters so far Claire said: “We just want to give thanks to everyone who nominated him and has supported the club, without them this might not have gone so far.
“We have had a lot of support from Harrogate Town AFC, Bettys and Taylors, Irwin Mitchell, donations from other companies and the continued support from the community.”
The winners of the National Diversity Awards 2018 will be announced at a black-tie event at Liverpool Cathedral on Friday, September 14.