Sheffield’s ‘Captain Tobias’ tops off amazing year by winning BBC Young Unsung Hero award

Tobias Weller, the Sheffield boy who shot to fame this year with his athletic exploits, topped off a remarkable year in style tonight by winning inaugural ‘Captain Tom Young Unsung Hero Award’ at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards.

Sunday, 20th December 2020, 9:11 pm

The nine-year-old, who has cerebral palsy and autism, captured many hearts this year by completing not one but two marathons in the streets around his Beauchief home, raising £150,000 for his special school Paces and Sheffield Children’s Hospital where he goes for treatment.

Tobias cannot walk or stand unaided and initially began his challenges when a 1km sponsored walk in his local park was cancelled by coronavirus.

During lockdown he became known as ‘Captain Tobias’ in honour of the inspirational World War Two veteran Captain Tom Moore who raised millions of pounds for the NHS by walking around his Bedfordshire garden.

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Nine-year-old Tobias Weller, from Sheffield, who has cerebral palsy and autism, completes the final leg of a 26.2 mile total of a walk he has called his "ginormous challenge", to walk a marathon using his walker during the lockdown (photo: Joe Giddens/PA Wire).

At the awards ceremony on Sunday night in Salford, Tobias was joined by four other extraordinary youngsters from across the country.

These included five year-old Betty-Leigh from Hertfordshire who raised more than £33,000 for the hospice where her grandmother works and 15-year-old Brynn from Shetland who raised more than £7,000 by travelling 1,679 miles - the equivalent of the entire coast of Shetland - in his wheelchair.

Also nominated were 14-year-old Ebony who has already started coaching at school and is the year 7/8 team manager for a girls’ football 7-a-side competition and five-year-old Teo from Surrey who raised thousands of pounds for Unicef by running in his garden during lockdown.

The award was given out as part of the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year ceremony, the annual year-ending celebration of the best of British sport.

Tobias Weller with his mother Ruth Garbutt arrives for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2020 at MediaCityUK, Salford. PA Photo.

Elite awards were given out for the team of the year, the coach of the year and the world sports star of the year as well as the overall Sports Personality of the Year award voted for by the audience.

But this year, for the first time ever, the ‘Captain Tom Young Unsung Hero Award’ was presented for young people who kept others active or raised money for good causes through physical activity.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.