Sydney Weaver of Acton, ON has been named the overall winner in the USTA’s annual Marie Hill Youth Writing Contest.
The 12-year-old topped her individual category with her essay, “My Wonderful Life” and went on to receive the most points in any age category to be named the overall winner. Her story will be published in the December issue of USTA’s Youth Beats magazine.
Founded and co-sponsored by author Marie Hill, the annual competition was created to encourage young people to write about harness racing and the Standardbred breed.
Entries were judged on content, accurate industry references, spelling and grammar. Age categories were 12 and under and 13-16.
Sydney’s can-do attitude, caring nature and unflinching enthusiasm for the sport have endeared her to legions of Ontario harness racing participants over the past couple of years.
Her wheelchair knows no bounds and she and her parents Don and Lisa could be found railside in all kinds of weather at all the big events this year, and on many other nights as well.
Sydney achieved her long-time dream of being able to jog a harness horse this past spring following her 12th birthday, with a little help from two of her biggest fans, Ron Waples and Bill O’Donnell.
Moments after she received the USTA phone call, Sydney had already decided how she was spending her cash award.
“I’m going to buy a ticket to the O’Brien Awards,” she said excitedly.
That’s our Sydney.