Awards are tribute to students

A COMMUNITY came together to celebrate the academic success of its young people - and hear an inspiring talk from an Olympian in his 90s.

A COMMUNITY came together to celebrate the academic success of its young people - and hear an inspiring talk from an Olympian in his 90s.

Orwell High School at Felixstowe paid tribute to its students with its annual awards evening attended by hundreds of pupils, parents and special guests.

The event welcomed two guest speakers - former Olympic runner Stan Cox, and former stand-up comic Dave Smith.

One of Felixstowe's most famous sporting sons, Mr Cox, 94, took part in the last Olympic Games which were held in Great Britain in 1948.

A 10,000m specialist, he also represented his country in the 1952 games and his story was inspiring, with the pupils at Orwell mesmerised by his presence.

Stan has one more dream to fulfil.

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He told the packed sports hall: “I would love to be involved in the 2012 Olympics.

“If I could carry the Olympic torch on part of its journey to London then it would be a fitting end to my Olympic career.”

Mr Smith, who has held creative writing and humour workshops at more than 150 schools, gave a well-received and very funny talk on creative writing in comedy.

He blasted the myth that writing is boring and explained how important the creative use of words were with nearly all modern-day stand-ups.

He said: “There has been an enthusiastic response from teachers and students alike at Orwell High. They seem to be able to relate to, and are interested in someone who has made a living from being funny, as opposed to a more 'heavyweight' novelist.”

Headteacher Peter Tomkins said: “Awards Evening is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate as a whole community the success of individuals.

“Everything we do as a school is focused on each individual student achieving all they have the potential to achieve and Awards Evening is about recognising those students who have excelled.

“Awards Evening is all about inspiring students. Stan Cox and Dave Smith are both successes in their own fields and provide inspiration for students.”

Following the awards in various subjects to mark progress and achievement, including some presented BT, the evening ended with a performance of High School Musical and live music from student band Valian.

Did you enjoy the evening? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk