I thought it couldnt get any better after winning the Sports Personality of the Year for Castlepoint and Rochford, my local area. And I realise how very lucky I was to even be selected for the Essex Awards as selection and shortlisting is down to the Sports Committee themselves. So with this thought in mind I went along to the evening feeling proud of the fact that I had been selected out of hundreds of deserving athletes across the whole of the County - and knowing the calibre of athletes in this area I know that being down to the last 4 was fantastic. So I intended to lap up the experience.
The night was hosted by Active Essex at the Chelmsford Racecourse, and it was very posh!
The first thing that came to mind when I walked in was that I thought we had wondered into a wedding reception! We even had to be seated in certain seats on certain tables! The buffet was amazing, we even had china plates and at every seat was a goody bag.
The event was even going LIVE online and on BBC Essex and I was surrounded by Olympians on nearby tables (Max Whitlock - Gold at Rio - Gymnastics & Saskia Clarke - Gold at Rio - Sailing were among those). I felt really proud to have got this far and to be among the best in Essex.
On each table was a booklet containing the categories, nominees and details of the evening. It felt great to see my name in print with the other 3 people selected in my category who were also international athletes who had achieved so much in the past year.
After several categories it was my turn to be lead onto stage whilst they read out our names. In turn they read out each of our sports and achievements so far this year. I think mine was the longest though!
I was expecting to be runner up, what I wasnt expecting was "and the winner of Young Sports Personality of the Year in Essex is...... Kiera Tippett"!!!
I was actually more nervous about walking up the stairs without falling over in my heels than I was about receiving the award as I wasn't expecting it.
I was so shocked that when they came over and interviewed me, I totally clammed up and I have no idea what I answered - as it was live I just hope it made sense!
This is the cherry on top of the cake for this year: European bronze medallist, European 5th place, British Champion, National Champion, Castlepoint and Rochford Spotrs Personality of the Year, and now Essex's Young Sports Personality of the Year!!! Just typing this has put a huge smile on my face - it's funny how you don't realise what you have achieved until it's all over and you have time to reflect on it!
I want to thank everyone for your continued support and believing in me these past couple of years. It has been a lifechanging experience and I have had many ups & downs, but I know where my future lies, I know which way I am heading in regard to my sports and I just hope it continues the way it has.
And thankyou Active Essex for nominating me and ending my year on a high. I feel honoured to be Essex Young Sports Personality of the Year 2016 :)