SOLIHULL swimming star and charity champion Millie Checkley has been named Fundraiser of the Year.
Eight-year-old Millie was honoured at the Kellogg’s Swimtastic Awards last Friday (October 19) for her outstanding fundraising, after collecting £10,000 for charity in the past four years.
Millie’s mum Mary, who nominated her for the award, said: “Millie has been fundraising for over half her life and is always thinking of who she can help next.
“I don’t know anyone her age that has put so much effort in to raising money for charity- she has a huge heart.
“People are inspired by her.
“She was in a bit of shock when she won, we weren’t expecting it but she was over the moon.”
The St Patrick’s C of E pupil was invited to swim with Olympic stars, including Paralympics’ double gold medalist Ellie Simmonds, ahead of the glamorous evening awards ceremony in Sheffield.
“I was very proud,” said the amazing Monkspath youngster. My favourite was Ellie because she was quite fun.
“I like fundraising so much because I like to help other people.
“I’m going to carry on fundraising.”
Millie began swimming aged just four and has been doing sponsored swims for charity even since.
She is also the youngest in the advanced programme for the City of Birmingham Swimming Club.
“She’s young but she already knows she want to be an Olympian,” Mary added.
“The fundraising helps keep her focused on swimming really.
“She’s done sponsored swims for Sport Relief, cystic fibrosis... and she recently did a 25 mile swim over seven days in memory of her grandparents who both passed away to cancer.
“And she’s still going. Her friend at school was diagnosed with cancer over the summer and Millie wants to raise money for her next.
“She’s always thinking of others.”
Olympic bronze medalist and BBC sport presenter Steve Parry, who hosted the awards, said they were a “brilliant way of honouring the people who have achieved their personal goals in the pool.”