Time Inc.'s (NYSE:TIME) Sports Illustrated Kids has named Tai, Rainn and Brooke Sheppard, of Brooklyn, New York, the 2016 SportsKids of the Year. The Sheppard sisters—aged 11, 10 and 9, respectively—were selected from among thousands of entries for overcoming substantial obstacles to qualify for this year's AAU Junior Olympic Games and for each individually medaling in track and field events. The sisters appear on the cover of the December issue of Sports Illustrated Kids and are featured in a cover story and special SI Kids video production that spotlights their remarkable optimism and achievement at a time when they have been living with their mother in a two-bedroom unit in a homeless shelter. They are the first set of sisters to win this award and the second set of siblings; brothers Conner and Cayden Long were honored in 2012. The new issue of SI Kids hits newsstands on Monday, November 28, and the new cover and SportsKid feature are available online now at SIKIDS.com/skoty. This Smart News Release features multimedia. View the full release here: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20161123005547/en/
Junior Olympian Track Star Sheppard Sisters are the Sports Illustrated Kids 2016 SportsKids of the Year (Photo: Business Wire)
Tai, Rainn and Brooke Sheppard will be honored alongside their mother, Tonia Handy, at a special SportsKid of the Year event at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, on December 12. They will also be recognized with the Sports Illustrated 2016 Sportsperson of the Year, the recipient of the 2016 SI Muhammad Ali Legacy Award and other top names in sports at the SI Sportsperson of the Year ceremony to take place at the Barclays Center later that evening. Goldfish® Flavor Blasted® crackers is the presenting sponsor of the SI Kids SportsKid of the Year program. The Sheppard sisters began living in a homeless shelter with their mother after having been evicted from their apartment in September 2015. They began their track and field careers when a babysitter signed them up for a meet in January 2015 as a fun, free activity. After the meet, they were invited to join the Jeuness Track Club and subsequently qualified for the 2016 AAU Junior Olympics in Houston, Texas. Tai ran the 400-, 800- and 80-meter hurdles; Rainn ran the 3,000; and Brooke participated in the 800, 1,500 and high jump. Each girl placed within the top 15 in each event, and Rainn won the 3,000-meter run for the 11-year-old girls' division. The girls are also heavily involved in activities outside of sports, ranging from chess and book clubs to playing the piano and performing in school plays.