KEITH TAKES SPORTS PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR AWARD
Windsurfing has kicked all the other sports into touch - Keith Atkinson gets 26% of the vote!
"WINDSURFER Keith Atkinson has won the inaugural Kentish Times and Reporter Sports Personality of the Year.
The 22-year-old had an outstanding 2005, the culmination of which came when he secured the British Formula series, becoming the British Formula Windsurfing Champion in September.
He has continued his good form into 2006 with a good showing at the Formula Windsurfing World Championships in Melbourne, where he returned with a silver medal, as well as improving his world ranking to seven - meaning he is very much among the world's elite.
Atkinson received 26 per cent of the vote with Bexley athlete 16-year-old Curtis Griffiths-Parker in second (21 per cent) and Welling manager Adrian Pennock third (19 per cent). The Fleet's Jimmy Jackson came fifth.
Keith said: ''What a great result for our sport. This is not just about me it is about raising the profile of windsurfing, especially with the younger generation. I want to encourage young people into windsurfing not just for their own good but the good of our sport. Windsurfing is a very friendly 'green sport' a million miles away from some of the hooliganism that taints other national sports. I would recommend any parent to get their children into windsurfing. I have travelled all around the world and made so many friends along the way, it's been a fantastic experience so far.
Finally I would like to thank all those who voted for me and for our great sport of windsurfing!"
(Kentish Times Group will be publishing a full feature on Keith in next weeks Times & Reporter papers.)