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Paralympic gold medallist presents 106 youngsters from Havering youth clubs with prestigious Jack Petchey Awards

PUBLISHED: 17:00 12 September 2017

Nicola's School of Dance were one of Havering's Jack Petchey Award winners on Monday night at the Queen's Theatre in Hornchurch.  Photo: Jack Petchey Foundation

Nicola's School of Dance were one of Havering's Jack Petchey Award winners on Monday night at the Queen's Theatre in Hornchurch. Photo: Jack Petchey Foundation

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More than 100 inspirational youngsters from dozens of Havering’s youth clubs were honoured with prestigious Jack Petchey awards.

Jade Kavanagh, 15, of Havering Athletic Club, was one of Havering's Jack Petchey Award winners on Monday night at the Queen's Theatre in Hornchurch.  Photo: Jack Petchey FoundationJade Kavanagh, 15, of Havering Athletic Club, was one of Havering's Jack Petchey Award winners on Monday night at the Queen's Theatre in Hornchurch. Photo: Jack Petchey Foundation

An astonishing 106 inspirational young winners – and eight adult Leader Award winners – were lauded at the event at the Queen’s Theatre in Hornchurch on Monday night.

Presenting the awards was Paralympic gold medallist and former 800m sprint world record holder Danny Crates.

He said: “It’s great to be in Havering seeing the talent of our younger generation shine through.

“Something I’ve learnt as a Paralympian athlete is that achieving your dreams is never easy- it requires hard work and perseverance, and these young people have shown that they have what it takes to get what they want out of life.

Sean McGovern, 13, of St Joseph's Youth Club, was one of Havering's Jack Petchey Award winners on Monday night at the Queen's Theatre in Hornchurch.  Photo: Jack Petchey FoundationSean McGovern, 13, of St Joseph's Youth Club, was one of Havering's Jack Petchey Award winners on Monday night at the Queen's Theatre in Hornchurch. Photo: Jack Petchey Foundation

“Congratulations to them all!”

Among the winners was 13-year-old Sean McGovern, who attends St Joseph’s Youth Club in Upminster.

The club’s Jack Petchey co-ordinator, David Fox, said: “Sean has really made an effort to take part in the youth club’s events this year.

“He completed the 100 Mile Canoe Challenge in which he kayaked and canoed 100 miles down the River Wye in Wales- an incredible feat!

“Sean has also represented the youth club in cross country running and has volunteered in community work projects.”

Sean decided to spend his £250 Jack Petchey Foundation Achievement Award grant on a trip to see the School of Rock Musical in the West End.

Havering Athletic Club member Jade Kavanagh was another inspiring local winner.

The 15-year-old decided to use her prize money to take her entire club on a trip to the Muller Anniversary Games in the summer.

Club member Claire Richards said of her star runner: “During this season alone, Jade has competed in the UK Youth Development League, Eastern Young Athletics League and the Southern Athletics League.

“She has significantly improved her personal best in all her events including the long jump and the 100, 200, and 300-meter sprint.

“Jade’s approach to training has been outstanding, with her rarely missing a session and earning the respect of the older team members.”

Since Jack Petchey funding began in 2003, youth clubs and schools across Havering have benefitted from £3,472,700 of additional funding thanks to the foundation.

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