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This Award, which was introduced in 2013, is given to recognise the achievements of a member of the OSA in the hope that it will inspire the next generation of Scarborough College students to go out into the world and be the very best they can be.

Charlotte attended the College and its prep school, Lisvane from 1992-2003.  She was a typical Scarborough College student. Average in terms of her academic ability, but willing to throw herself into all aspects of school life Outside school she made extra time for her passion of horse riding.  She left the College with a reasonable set of A Levels but decided to decline all of the University offers she had received in order to pursue a career with horses.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing and Charlotte soon realised that perhaps she should have taken the advice of her teachers and continued her education at university.  This would have ensured she had qualifications that would act as a backup in case the horse career didn’t work out and she needed to find an alternative career path.  The staff at the College were more than happy to help Charlotte reapply to university culminating in her gaining a place at Newcastle University to read Agri-Business Management the following year.  Friday 13th April 2007 Charlotte handed in her dissertation.  University life complete, and a busy three years it had been.

Monday 16th April 2007 Charlotte’s life changed forever.  While Charlotte was out riding she had an accident and ended up in hospital being told the devastating news that she had broken her back.  The next year consisted of two spinal operations, months of rehab and a lot of tears. Not what she had planned but luckily university had given her that back up plan in the form of a first-class honours degree.

Charlotte’s recovery was amazing and she was eventually given the all clear to ride again.  She became Yorkshire Novice Ladies point to point Champion, she evented to International 3*** level and life was good again.

July 2010, 3 years on from her accident, lightning struck Charlotte for a second time. Another minor fall and the devastating news that she had broken her back again, but this time the nerve damage was so much worse. Charlotte underwent full spinal fusion surgery. The surgeon told her that it was time she got a ‘proper job’ as her riding days were over for good. 

Over the following four years along with her rehab and recovery, she completed a graduate programme. She spent time working at both Goodwood and York Racecourse in both marketing and accounting roles and latterly worked as the accounts manager for a successful Motorsport Team.  

Charlotte was lucky.  She had a plan B and after two serious accidents was incredibly lucky to be able to live a normal life.  But on the inside she suffered from depression and always felt something was missing. With the support of her family, she went back to her beloved horses.  Having to learn how to ride all over again, Charlotte soon realised that she would have to compromise and dressage was the only option she could even consider.  This lady has some serious Yorkshire Grit!

In 2014, it was brought to Charlottes attention that due to her injuries she could be classified as a para-athlete. 

Charlotte has worked her way up the levels within the sport and in 2016 was rewarded with selection for the World Class Programme which is funded by UK Sport and The National Lottery. She has been fortunate enough to compete in many international competitions and this year reached a World Ranking of 5th in the world in her disability grade. With Tokyo 2020 Paralympics less than a year away, preparations  are well underway for her Olympic team selection campaign 

Charlotte always dreamt of representing her country and nearly did at under 18 level, but never did she think that  she might compete in the Paralympics. One of her dreams might soon become reality.

Charlotte’s message to all of you, students and adults alike is: ‘You must never stop dreaming, you might just have to slightly tweak that dream if things change along the way!’

Charlotte says ‘I would like to think that my time at Scarborough College gave me the determination, tenacity and grounding to deal with things that have come my way since leaving school. There are people that were part of my life at the college that gave us all the discipline to work hard, train hard, celebrate the success, but also to work on the weaknesses when success just wasn’t quite there.   The mental attitude and skills that it takes to win and be successful become second nature when you are surrounded by such inspiring, understanding and supportive people at such an important stage of your life.’

Another of Charlotte’s champions from her school days, PE teacher, Wendy Craig-Tyler was instrumental in Charlotte's nomination for this award. In her comments, Wendy says:

“It was a privilege to nominate Charlotte Cundall for this prestigious award.

A true sportswoman, whilst at College, she played in every possible school team whilst competing her horses at a high level in the world's most dangerous sport, Eventing

Severe life changing injuries have never daunted her and she now competes very successfully at international level in Para dressage. I'm sorry I can't be here to see the  presentation to one incredible, funny, self-effacing, tough lady. Charlotte is the embodiment of all Scarborough College strives to give to its students.”

Edward Bradley, one of the key members in the College’s equestrian team who has also recently represented the North of England, presented the award to Charlotte.