Christopher Cox, an 18-year-old student from south Belfast, is the latest local sportsperson to have been awarded the Rainbow Communications Sports Award in partnership with the Mary Peters Trust.
Having only taken up volleyball two years ago when he was a student at Methodist College, the funding enabled him to represent Northern Ireland at the Under-20 European Championships for Small Countries in Luxembourg, where he came third.
"I first took part in volleyball during PE in school and also enjoyed playing it on the beach with my friends. So when I got the chance to play for the school team on a regular basis, I quickly established myself as a middle blocker," said Christopher.
"I enjoy playing as part of a team and there is nothing more satisfying than getting a good kill on the ball when it is set to you.
"There are many different skills required in volleyball and this variety makes it interesting as the game can be very fast paced and you have to think on your feet.
"I now attend the University of Glasgow and play for the Men's 1st team. We train three times a week and are currently unbeaten, so we are having a really good season. We have won the Scottish League and are now preparing for the semi-finals of the UK Trophy.
"It's my main goal to continue improving while in Glasgow and go on to play for the Northern Ireland Senior Team in the future."
Athletes across all recognised sports are chosen every month by the Mary Peters Trust to receive the Rainbow Communications Grant.
Stuart Carson from Rainbow Communications said: "Christopher is a great example of someone who has raw talent, having only taken up volleyball at the age of 16 and two years later he is already having great success."
Dame Mary Peters said: "It never ceases to amaze me how many young people are involved in sport and compete to represent Northern Ireland.
"I am so proud to see these young ambassadors travel to their competitions. They make us proud, they have our continued support and through their achievements we all benefit."
To find about how you can apply for the award, visit www.marypeterstrust.org