Olympian celebrates success of Weston students

PUBLISHED: 12:30 29 January 2013

L-R: standing Dipendra Pun, Lawrence Frappell, Sarah-Jane Lewis, Andrew Coxon, Graham Turner, Dr Paul Phillips, Paul Jacobs, Marie Horton, sitting Emma Rogers and Amy Williams.

L-R: standing Dipendra Pun, Lawrence Frappell, Sarah-Jane Lewis, Andrew Coxon, Graham Turner, Dr Paul Phillips, Paul Jacobs, Marie Horton, sitting Emma Rogers and Amy Williams.

Archant

AN OLYMPIC gold medallist inspired hundreds of Weston students at an awards night, which celebrated their individual successes.

Winter Olympian Amy Williams was the guest speaker for Weston College’s celebration night held at the town’s Winter Gardens.

The 30-year-old skeleton bob racer said: “Nothing is impossible. You can dream about something or you can go out and do it.

“When I was chosen as a reserve in the 2006 Olympics I was determined to take part in the next.

“I spent four years training in the gym three times a day. I’ve kept books of my training that go back 15 years of my life. I went to bed at 10pm every night, even Christmas and New Year eve’s in order to achieve my goal.”

Amy heard success stories from all walks of college life, including many students who had fought against the odds to get their qualifications.

The college’s aspire student of the year went to 42-year-old Amanda Williams of McFarlane Close, Weston.

The mum-of–three had never worked and lost her confidence. She went on the Aspire course and is now working as a care assistant.

She said: “I was very bored and very timid. I went on every course available here, then wrote to 50 employers with my CV and got six interviews in one week.”

Another of the highest fliers was Emma Rogers who took the principal’s award for outstanding achievement.

Emma, aged 20, of Nylands near Cheddar, started an apprenticeship in 2010. She left in December to have her son and returned in February to complete her beauty course. She then scooped gold in the Worldskills international final, as the top beautician in the UK.

Emma has also opened up her own beauty shop in Wedmore.

Higher education student of the year went to Dipendra Pun, who is studying a foundation degree in uniformed public services. He aims to go to Sandhurst as an officer.

The 19-year-old came to Weston from Nepal in 2005 and as well as his studies Dipendra set up and runs a youth football team for the Nepalese community.

He said: “I came from Swindon to an open evening at Weston College and I’ve really enjoyed my time here. There are fantastic opportunities and support.”

Dr Paul Phillips, Weston College’s principal, said: “With 27,000 enrolments, 30 A-levels and an expected turnover next year of nearly £45million we are the best in the west.”


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