Eight local young people win prestigious H&F Coldstream Guards awards

Eight local young people have received Coldstream Guard Awards for going above and beyond – both at school and at home.

Group shot of the Coldstream Guard Award winners, their friends and families, Cllr Daryl Brown, Cllr Alex Sanderson, Cllr Bora Kwon and Major Rudy Vandaele-Kennedy

Eight local young people have received Coldstream Guard Awards for going above and beyond – both at school and at home.

The special honours were awarded at the 17 Company Army Reserve Centre in Hammersmith Road. They are only given out in Hammersmith & Fulham thanks to our close links with 17 Company, The Coldstream Guards, one of H&F’s Army Reserve Units.

Each young person – who was nominated by their teachers – had to compete with 26 other nominees before being selected as winners by the judges.

“Thank you to the teachers who nominated their students and to 17 Company, Coldstream Guards for their support,” said Cllr Bora Kwon, H&F Cabinet Member for Civic Renewal and one of this year’s judges.

“The enthusiasm and pride the schools have shown for their nominees reflects the contributions each student has made to their school communities.”

The winners

Hussien Dabbous, 18, from William Morris Academy and Vitali Andronik, 17, from Fulham Cross Academy won this year’s ‘Overcoming Adversity’ award.

Vitali Andronik with his ‘Overcoming Adversity’ statuette

Hussien was nominated for his continued dedication to school and achieving A grades despite working seven days a week through the summer, as well as enduring a significant loss in his family.

While in 2022, Vitali fled Ukraine to escape the Russian invasion, forced to leave his parents behind. Despite this, during his year at school his teachers say he has worked tirelessly to perfect his English.

“Despite the traumas he has faced and continues to face, Vitali epitomises resilience, courage and empathy and we are privileged to have him at our school,” said his teacher, Vishanee Naidoo.

Winning grades

Muhammad Abdullah, 13, and Tegan Aumayer, 15, bagged the ‘Academic Achievement’ awards and received their trophies from Cllr Kwon.

Muhammad, who moved from Malaysia in 2022, was nominated for consistently being top of his year group at Fulham Cross Academy. Despite studying in his second language, he scored 100% in Engineering in his final exam last year.

Hammersmith Academy student Tegan received her award for making the most of every opportunity, including taking part in every school musical production. “It’s great to be recognised for the things I’ve done at school, and I know my mum is very proud” she said.

Putting others first

Sara Alkozai, 15, and Ikran Abdi, 15, from Fulham Cross Girls both received awards for their ‘Social Contribution’. It was awarded by Cllr Alex Sanderson, H&F Cabinet Member for Children and Education.

Sara was nominated for her work as an Eco-leader at school and advocating for a plastic-free canteen. “The whole experience has been amazing,” added her classmate and Head Girl, Ikran, who won for her volunteer work as a book leader and student librarian.

Mahya Chan and Sofija Gelev, receiving their award from Cllr Daryl Brown

Sporting achievements

Fulham Cross Academy student Mahya Chan, 13, and Sofija Gelev, 15, from Fulham Cross Girls, won the ‘Sporting Achievement’ awards, presented by Cllr Daryl Brown, Deputy Mayor of H&F.

During the summer term, Mahya introduced her classmates to Kendo, a modern Japanese martial art, and taught everyone how to take part. While Sofija was nominated for her swimming achievements.  She represents London internationally and trains daily, often winning gold at competitions. 

Prizes galore

All four winning schools will be hosting assemblies in the New Year where each winning student will receive an individual plaque presented by 17 company.

Each winner will also be invited to a celebratory lunch at the 1st Battalion, The Coldstream Guards in Windsor, Berkshire, late next year and will be joined by Coldstream Guards Awards alumni from the last few years.

“Number 17 Company, Coldstream Guards feel very much a part of the Hammersmith & Fulham community,” said Major Rudy Vandaele-Kennedy.

“We are very proud to recognise the outstanding performance and contribution of the award winners and are also committed to helping them develop further.  We look forward to the awards continuing to grow across the borough.”

The students will also be invited to a series of careers and team building skills lunches in Hammersmith, hosted by the Coldstream Guards, at Princess Louise House, the 17 Company Army Reserve Centre.

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