Winner Jack’s alright

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A STUDENT has earned a prestigious award after proving his leadership skills on a week-long outward bounds course.

Jack Waterman, from Hartlepool, has received the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) at a celebration evening in Gateshead.

The presentation follows a week-long course in Haydon Bridge, Northumberland, in which he developed his leadership skills through a range of challenging activities.

These included bridge building, defusing fake bombs, caving, gorge walking, rock climbing, abseiling and an overnight survival bag.

The former head boy at High Tunstall College of Science is now a student at Hartlepool Sixth Form College and was one of 31 people to receive their awards at the evening.

Jack, 16, of Tarnston Road, Naisberry Park, said: “I absolutely enjoyed the entire experience.

“It was an honour to be selected, I learned so much and I want to thank the Rotary Club for selecting me.”

RYLA is one of a number of projects run by Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland to improve people’s skills and opportunities.

Rotary’s local branch, Hartlepool Rotary Club, organises a number of events for youngsters and charities and nominated Jack for the course after an interiew.

Barbra Midgley, youth service officer with Hartlepool Rotary Club, said: “RYLA really works and it was great to see the impact on Jack.

“He had a fantastic week and came back a different person, much more prepared for his journey through life.

“He has gained in confidence and significantly improved his leadership skills.”

Mohamed Menabawey, this year’s club president, added: “One of our aims is to help and encourage young people in the town and RYLA is one of our many youth service projects.

“Jack was an excellent candidate for the course and we are really pleased that we have been able to help him so much.”