Preston teenager meets Prince William after being named Radio 1's Teen Heroes

Tomas was congratulated by the Duke for making a difference.

By Aimee Seddon
Saturday, 11th December 2021, 12:30 pm

On Tuesday, a teenager form Preston was welcomed to Kensington Palace to meet the Duke of Cambridge, after being named as one of Radio 1' s Teen Heroes.

13 year old Tomas Woods, along with four other youngsters, met with Prince William, as well as Radio 1 DJs Greg James, Jordan North and Vick Hope, for an event held to celebrate their remarkable achievements.

At Tuesday's reception, the five heroes all spoke to the Duke about their work and projects they have been involved in and how this has made a real difference to those around them and the wider community.

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Tomas Woods, and the other Radio 1 Teen Heroes got the chance to talk to the Duke of Cambridge on Tuesday.

Tomas, who is the UK’s number one male wheelchair motocross (WCMX) rider, despite only starting the sport in January 2020, said: "The Duke of Cambridge was lovely, and he was only supposed to be there for thirty minutes, but by the time he talked to us, he'd already been there that time, and then he spent another forty five minutes with us, and thirty of that just talking to me because we got talking about WCMX and the support we don't get from Sport England, that we don't have any governing bodies, that the Paralympic committee aren't great, and also the design of the WPMX chairs. Then after that the parents came in and we took a picture, and just before he left, he said he was going to look into the Paralympic Committee and try and have a look at Sport England to see if he could WCMX some funding for chairs, which is just amazing!"

WCMX is is a sport which involves wheelchair BMX and skateboarding tricks, and Tomas is now the number one male rider in the UK, after coming fourth in the world championships in October 2020.

Tomas was nominated for Radio 1's Teen Heroes by his sister, a scheme ran each year by Radio 1 to celebrate outstanding teenagers who have proven their dedication to helping others or overcome exceptional challenges.

Talking about being chosen by Radio 1, Tomas added: "It was mad, when my sister told me she nominated me, I thought well that's probably not going to go anywhere, but then, obviously, we found out!

The reception, also attended by Radio 1 DJs Greg James, Jordan North and Vick Hope, was a celebration of the young heroes achievements.

"We went down to London, and not only did we get to meet the Duke of Cambridge, but we also got to talk to Greg James, Vic and Jordan, and the head of the whole BBC, which is quite cool, I also got to host BBC 1's Radio Breakfast show last Friday and even announced a show, which was fun!"

It was during this breakfast show that the five heroes were surprised with their invitation to Kensington Palace, which then opened its doors to Radio 1's heroes this week for a fifth year, allowing the Duke to congratulate the young winners personally.

Tomas's mother, Joanna Woods said: "We're extremely proud of his achievements, to go from barely being able to leave the house for months on end, to getting a wheelchair which is more like an NHS tank, to doing so well in his sport and becoming the UK's number one male rider, is just insane. We're really looking forward to hopefully next year, depending on COVID, Tom being able to complete in the world championships in America and Germany and who knows where it will take him?"

Joanna adds: "However another thing, from a local perspective, Tom currently has to train in Manchester because there's no wheelchair accessible skate parks locally, so obviously, that's something we'd like to see change in the future. Around the country, we'd like to encourage people, when they build new skate parks, to consider accessibility because I don't think people realise that this sport is growing so much in the UK and hopefully will be added to the Paralympics in 2028, but if kids don't have the opportunity to try it then that's going to massive impact on GB's prospect for a team!"

Preston teenager, Tomas, says the Duke spent most of his time with the heroes speaking to him about WCMX.

To find out more about Tomas and his WCMX sporting achievements, you can visit his Instagram page or youtube account.

The other 2021 Radion 1 Teen Heroes include Harry 17, from Kent, who was able to stop someone taking their own life whilst he was on his way to school, and Madison, also 17 from Kent who developed the Positivity Packages scheme during the pandemic to help others with their mental health, after struggling with her own.

The final two heroes are 14 year old Jake, from Bristol, who has raised more than £10,000 for bereavement causes, following the deaths of his half-sister and grandmother, by holding annual Christmas light displays at his house, and Keah, 19, from Trowbridge, who has been the carer for her mother since 2018, and studies at nursing college while on a youth council to help inform policy about young carers.

This was the fifth year that Kensington Palace opened its doors to Radio 1's Teen Heroes.