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Sporting legend, Kriss Akabusi MBE helps LSEC students celebrate their achievements

Kriss Akabusi

Students at @LSEColleges have had their achievements celebrated virtually once again this year, in a special online celebration that included British sporting hero, Olympian and World Championship-winning athlete @krissakabusi MBE.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the College’s Annual Awards ceremony could not take place in its usual format of a glittering evening with live audience, entertainment and refreshments. Instead, the special event was moved onto Zoom with an audience of over 500 people.

Altogether, there were 20 awards made in ten categories including Adult, HE, FE, Apprentice, Special Educational Needs, ESOL, Work Experience Prince’s Trust and Employer of the Year. There was also a prize for Outstanding Contribution to the Community.

In his speech, Kriss Akabusi said: “I spent much of my youth as a looked after child in corporate care and on leaving school (with no qualifications) I joined the British Army – I joined up because I wanted to be looked after and guided in the right direction, I needed leadership and that’s what I got – from a man known as Sergeant McKenzie .

“From there, where I believe I really got started in life, with someone who really believed in me, to where I am now has been a long and on-going journey. I have been a soldier, a professional athlete, a TV presenter, public speaker and in 2020, I achieved my Masters in Existential Coaching.

“I have had setbacks and knock-backs like everyone else but have always picked myself up and started again. I never give up.

“To be a success, you may first have to taste failure and realise that there are all kinds of hurdles to jump or get around in life before reaching the finishing line. Whether you finish first, second, third or even last, there will be a lesson learned from everything you do. Learn those lessons and continually grow and develop. Teamwork and lifelong learning are key to a bright and successful future for you all. Remember this, it isn’t where you start, it’s where you finish.”

Dr Sam Parrett told the virtual audience in her opening address: “Back at the beginning of the Autumn term, we had hoped for the quick return of a ‘normal’ college year following the disruption of a global pandemic. However, this wasn’t to be and a devastating second wave of Covid 19 swept the country, requiring us to continue to do things differently again until we return to normal – which I hope will be very soon. These have included online learning and tutorials, virtual open events, 360-degree 3d campus tours, and this – our second virtual online student award ceremony.

“With the experience of the first lockdown, this transition ran more smoothly thanks to the incredible efforts, and indeed, the will of our students, staff and community as a whole. As well as continuing successfully with your studies, many of you have also provided huge support to your own communities via our FE Foodbank initiative which nationally raised over £45,000 and 20,000 food items for foodbanks around the country.

“We know that many of you and your families have experienced much hardship, grief and mental health struggles over this difficult period – and this is the reason we must recognise and celebrate your successes today.

“I would like to send a huge congratulations to you all – please keep striving for success and be reassured that your future is extremely bright.”

 A full list of awards winners 

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