A 16-YEAR-OLD from Illogan has received the Lions Youth Achievement for his enthusiasm for basketball and the support and help he gives to others.

Ashley Kevern was nominated by the Special Olympics Cornwall basketball team. The Lion’s Youth Officer, Lion Peter Cale, said that Ashley is a very motivated young man who is coming to terms with his disabilities and is a deserving recipient of the award.

Ashley lives in Illogan with his mother Janet and his older brother Jamie (who is also disabled) and currently attends Camborne School.

Ashley is also involved with KMF radio in Redruth where, after doing his work experience from school there last summer, he made such an impression that he was offered a two hour slot which he does on Saturday's 12-2 pm.

Apart from basketball, Ashley also plays wheelchair basketball and was also involved with an ability counts football team but his main passion is basketball.

Ashley’s volunteer mentor Nathan, his basketball coach Steve Hillman and Special Olympics Chairman David Painter were all effusive about Ashley's enthusiasm for sport and the support and help he gives to other members.

He is always on hand to lift their spirits if they are down which was apparently particularly in evidence at the Special Olympics games, held in Sheffield in August, which Ashley himself said had been the best experience of his life. Ashley played for the Cornwall basketball team at the games where they finished a commendable 4th out of 12 teams competing.

Ashley’s Mum Janet said that basketball has really changed Ashley by giving him confidence and self belief because he can sometimes really struggle with low self esteem.

Ashley is also heavily involved with CAAP, a charity that offers holiday activities for disabled young people and is an ambassador for them. He was involved with their Time 2 Shine campaign which won them a huge charity donation from ITV. (The ensuing interview with ITV was also shown on the West Country News Programme)

Time 2 Shine, gives disabled young people the chance to help run the holiday activities and therefore builds them a portfolio to show future employees their potential. Ashley will be going to a conference in Dublin in March with the other young people involved with Time 2 Shine and will be giving a presentation at a conference for nurses working with the learning disabled community.

Ashley's brother Jamie, who is 19, is also involved with the project and he also has Autism and a Learning Disability the same as Ashley.