Ones to watch: Surrey's rising stars

Every month, we track down the Surrey starlets who are set to take on the world. Share your 'Ones to Watch' by e-mailing

Every month, we track down the Surrey starlets who are set to take on the world. Share your ‘Ones to Watch’ by e-mailing

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine January 2011

Name: Sam Bird Age: 23 Home: Hersham

The low-down... In his rookie GP2 season, Sam has already turned heads in the F1 paddock, not only because of the results themselves but also because of the impressive manner in which he has achieved them.

Who inspires you?All the people who have supported me in my career: my parents, Bob Noble at Charterhouse, Peter Johnson at Millfield, and more recently my managers, Serge and James. My sporting heroes are Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher and Muhammad Ali. I recently worked alongside Michael as I was selected to drive for the Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One team at the young driver test in Abu Dhabi.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?I see myself firmly established in Formula One with lots of success behind me and more success to come. I also see myself getting very much involved with young go-kart drivers, boys and girls who are taking their first steps in the sport.

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine January 2011

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Name: Mary Fenton-Jones Age: 18 Home: Godalming

The low-down... With hopes of selection for the 2012 Olympic sailing team and the wind in her sails, Mary, a former student at Godalming College, is already no stranger to Great British youth teams.

Who inspires you?Incredible sailors such as Ben Ainslie, Paul Goodison and Sarah Ayton, as well as Ellen MacArthur, are obviously my sailing inspirations, as they are right at the top of the sport. Training as part of the National Youth Squad is also very inspirational.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?I have agreed with the RYA (the governing body of sailing) that I will pursue a team racing career while at university. This is because studies for a degree in medicine and single-handed sailing don’t mix on the pathway to Olympic level. I would love to become a sports medic and combine medicine with my passion for sailing.

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine January 2011

Name: Lauren Casey Age: 23 Home: Esher

The low-down... Singer/songwriter Lauren wowed the crowds at the Open Mic UK regional finals recently, gaining top marks from the judges and moving closer to her dream of performing at the 02 Arena.

Who inspires you?As a female singer/pianist/composer, Alicia Keys has been a huge inspiration to me. I am self-taught and Celine Dion was someone I looked up to when I was younger. My parents and friends have been my greatest support.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?I would love to be a successful recording artist, doing live tours all over the world. I have already written an album and plan to write more as I develop as an artist. I hope to have many hits that people all over the world can enjoy.

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine September 2011

Name: Carelle MowattAge: 20Hometown: GuildfordSchool: Cranleigh School, Cranleigh (alumni) 

The low-down...Singer/songwriter Carelle Mowatt’s YouTube account has recently created a stir with her live performances and singing lessons with David Grant, a former Fame Academy judge. 

Who inspires you?Thanks to my dad, who was the music-lover of the family, I grew up listening to The Bee Gees, James Taylor and The Carpenters, but as I got older, I started to appreciate the lyrics behind country music. Taylor Swift and Rascal Flatts have been a huge inspiration of mine.  My family is my greatest support. 

What is your proudest achievement?Excellent feedback on my demo album and being recognised as a ‘songwriter and lyricist’ and not just a singer. I’m now looking forward to presenting my demo album to large record labels. 

Where will you be in five years time?I’d love to see myself as a successful recording artist touring the world and writing music that people can connect with and enjoy.

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine October 2010

Name: Jack ClarkeAge: 21Hometown: Effingham

The low-down... Racing driver Jack Clarke has motorsport in the family. Around the family home there are his stepfather Julian Bailey’s trophies and grandfather’s photos of Formula One world champions. 

Who inspires you?Well, anyone who’s seen the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking (where Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and the McLaren Formula One team are based) will agree; it’s very impressive. My grandfather has given me all the stories about Brooklands in Weybridge and Mike Hawthorn, the 1958 World Championship winning driver, who lived in Farnham. I think these things would inspire any racing driver. I have met Jackie Stewart, who is a real hero of mine, so meeting him was pretty huge for me.  

What is your proudest achievement?When I was about eight or nine, Julian dug out a dirt track and bought two go-karts. I soon beat him and I decided I really enjoyed racing and winning. Where do you see yourself in ten years?I see myself as F1 world champion – and, who knows, maybe I’ll pay to fix all those potholes!

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine September 2011

Name: Anisha HillAge: 11Hometown: WokingSchool: St Bede’s, Send 

The low-down...In the last year, Anisha Hill has played football for the Chelsea girls U13s, was top goalscorer for Guildford Saints when they won the league championship (31 goals) and even scored 16 goals in one tournament, including all four in the final. She also plays tennis, and played in a match at Wimbledon where she represented Woking against Wimbledon JTI. 

Who inspires you?In football, Barcelona’s Lionel Messi  for his great skills and, in tennis, Rafael Nadal because he just gets everything back. 

What is your proudest achievement?Playing for Chelsea in an invitation match against Portsmouth and scoring two goals. 

Where will you be in five years time? Hopefully, playing for a women’s  premier football club in the women’s super league (which was launched this year) and also playing tennis again at Wimbledon.

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine June 2007

Name: Newton FaulknerAge: 22Hometown: Horley

The low-down:Set to take the music world by storm, Newton Faulkner, a 22-year-old singer and guitarist from Surrey, has been receiving airplay on BBC Radio 1 and 2 and will be playing most of the big summer festivals - and he's yet to release his first album...

Who inspires you?I went to the ACM (Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford) at the age of 16 for a couple of years, where I was lucky enough to meet Eric Roche who has probably had more influence on me than anyone else.

What is your proudest achievement?I've had some crazy gigs down in Cornwall. The Little Noise Session (a Mencap charity gig) was awesome. I was on just after Chris Martin and just before Lilly Allen... still not quite sure how I got away with that...

Where do you see yourself in ten years?Working in a supermarket, probably.

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine April 2011

Name: Lawrence OkoyeAge: 19Home: CroydonSchool: Whitgift School, Croydon, alumni 

The low-down...Talented discus player Lawrence Okoye is ranked number one in the U20 UK rankings and number three in the world U20 rankings. He is also English Schools, UK U20 and Inter-Counties Champion (for 2010). Lawrence has taken two years out of education to train full-time with the aim of qualifying for the 2012 Olympics in London. 

Who inspires you?I have several sporting heroes but my greatest is probably Jonah Lomu, because he achieved so much at such a young age and was entirely different from everyone else in his sport. I’m hoping my sporting success will emulate his.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?I had the choice between rugby and athletics and went for discus, so hopefully at the top of my sport – having won both Olympic and world titles in the discus.

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine January 2010 

Name: Bonita NorrisAge: 21Hometown: EghamSchool: Royal Holloway, Egham alumni

The low-down…The youngest female to climb the world’s eighth highest peak, the next goal for Egham-based Bonita Norris, 21, is Everest. Training four times a week, mostly in Windsor Great Park, she also uses Foxhills Golf Club. She says that the biggest challenge will be standing on the summit of Everest and realising that she’s still got to get back down.

What or who most inspires you?I am really inspired by the work of the charity that I’m raising money for. Through Global Angels, I found out about White Lodge in Chertsey, which is the most amazing facility for those with all kinds of disabilities – the children are especially inspiring, heart-wrenchingly so. I just want to help in some way, and thinking of that really keeps you going on the hill!

What is your proudest achievement?I decided that I wanted to climb Everest in late 2008 and now, just a year on, I hold the record as the youngest female to climb the world’s eighth highest peak, Manaslu, 8,153m, in the Nepalese Himalayas! The idea of climbing Everest had always appealed to me –to really find out ‘what you’re made of ’.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?Alive, I hope! I’d love to carry on pitting myself against some of the big challenges – the South Pole, the other twelve 8,000m peaks, maybe row across the Atlantic! I just want to feel alive and see the world – that’s not too much to ask, is it?

Editor’s note: On May 17, 2010, Bonita became the youngest British woman to climb Mount Everest.

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine April 2011 

Name: Tallulah Bowden Age: 8Home: OxshottSchool: Danes Hill, Oxshott 

The low-down...Tallulah Bowden is a 1st Dahn Black Belt in the Korean martial art of Kuk Sool Won (KSW). At the age of eight, this makes her the youngest KSW Black Belt in the UK and one of the youngest in any martial art. 

Who inspires you?As well as my dad and Cheryl Cole, my instructor James Barker, who was a Black Belt at 13-years-old and who gave up his job as a teacher to teach us Kuk Sool Won. He is now a 4th Dahn and won UK Grand Champion 2010. He has previously won European and World Grand Champions.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?Hopefully, training and testing for my 4th Dahn Black Belt on the way to becoming a Master of Kuk Sool Won (5th Dahn) and not only the youngest female but the youngest Master there has ever been.

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine April 2011 

Name: Louis Frost Age: 11Home: FetchamSchool: Cranmore School, West Horsley

The low-down...Louis was four years old when he first rode a pony. At the age of eight, he competed in the South of England Show, where he qualified for the Horse of The Year Show at The NEC in Birmingham. The following year, he qualified for The Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead. Louis soon progressed into showjumping at British Junior Level. In 2010, he competed in The National Junior Academy Teams’ competition in Wales, where his Surrey team won.

Who inspires you?I want to follow in the footsteps of some of my favourite British showjumpers: Tim Stockdale, Ben Mayer and, of course, the Whittakers who have set such high standards in this challenging sport. 

Where do you see yourself in ten years?I hope to compete in the 2012 Olympics and to jump The Puissance at Olympia, which is one of the highest and most challenging walls in showjumping.

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