July 25, 2024

Student tennis star serving up food for community in lockdown nominated for diversity prize

A COLEG CAMBRIA student and member of the Welsh Youth Parliament has been nominated for a National Diversity Award.

Jonathon Dawes, from Rhyl, has been listed in the Positive Role Model category for his uplifting work in the community.

The 17 year-old – head coach at Rhyl Tennis Club – has had an incredible 12 months; he was named Denbighshire Sports Coach of the Year in 2019, won a British Citizens Youth Award, is a Sport Wales Platinum Ambassador and was praised for setting up inclusive tennis sessions for wheelchair users.

Among his greatest achievements was running a Tennis Skills week at Rhyl High School, which gave more than 1,000 children the opportunity to play the sport, and he is also a British Tennis and Tennis Wales Award winner and Head of Ambassadors at My Tennis Events, founded by The Apprentice star, Sabrina Stocker.

Currently taking AS Levels in Government and Politics, Economics and PE at the college’s Deeside site, he has been as busy as ever during the Coronavirus lockdown, teaming-up with a local store to deliver food packages to self-isolating pensioners in the town.

He was “thrilled and shocked” to be chosen for the diversity prize, and thanked Denbighshire County Councillor Tony Thomas for nominating him.

“I wasn’t expecting this, I’m really pleased and proud,” said Jonathon.

“If I reflect back on the last couple of years it’s been amazing – including becoming Welsh Youth Parliament member for the Vale of Clwyd – and I’m very grateful to the community for their support.

“They have supported me which is why I try and give back through tennis and politics, and in trying to help as many people I can at this challenging time.

“I am fit and healthy, so I’m lucky to be in a position to do so. There are a lot of elderly residents in the local area who are unable to get out to the shops, so I’ve been delivering food packages to them and doing as much as I can, as so many other people are.”

The prizegiving ceremony is due to take place this September in London, and Jonathon admits whether it takes place or not due to the pandemic, the selection will still be one of his proudest moments.

“I am dedicated to being a positive role model and a strong voice for young people, and to have that recognised is a real honour,” he added.

To vote for Jonathon, visit nationaldiversityawards.co.uk/nominate/29689

Visit www.cambria.ac.uk for more on the wide range of courses and qualifications available at Coleg Cambria.