"My disabilities held me back but I've worked hard to get where I am"
TEENAGER Khovan Hussein has “overcome disabilities” and “worked hard” over the past 18 years and these efforts were recognised by our judges.
The 18-year-old beat off some tough competition from Bank Quay Bulls U14s and Alexandra Wilcock from AJ Stars - who were highly commended by the judges - to take home the Sportsperson of the Year Award at this year's Warrington Guardian Inspiration Awards.
When he was just two years old, Khovan was diagnosed with autism and then at the age of six he was told he had ADHD and then Tourette’s at 17.
He struggled to socialise and communicate with people until he took up Brazilian Jiu Jitsu when he was 15.
This changed his life and showed that no matter what your troubles, sport will help you find a way through.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Khovan was told he needed to shield so he decided to film short exercise videos to send to his teacher and fellow students to keep fit while the country was in lockdown.
The nomination for Khovan said: “He became an assistant coach for martial arts at college and secured a gym placement, where he comes up with circuit plans for gym-goers.”
Read more about our other Inspiration Award winners here.
The teenager, who picked up The Rotary Young Citizen Sporting Hero Award in May last year, has won numerous awards in the sport over the last few years.
When he started his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes his confidence grew and he started to communicate with other people, socialising in class and at home.
As his confidence grew so did his desire to compete in the sport and he won gold, silver and bronze medals across the UK, fighting hard against his own anxieties as well as challenging sensory stimuli.
Every year, the Wargrave House School and College student fundraises for charity with the campaign for 2022 collecting money for Tourette’s Action.
This involved the youngster shaving his head, waxing his chest, throwing a fancy dress Brazilian Jiu Jitsu ball and running a marathon.
Khovan’s nomination for the award ended by saying “ he is a true inspiration” and the judges agreed.
When he accepted the award on stage, Khovan said: “I’ve worked hard to get where I am.
“My disabilities held me back more than others but my mum and the rest of my family helped and made things much easier.”