18 year old Jai Padhiar from Harrow is a young person with a determination to make a difference. Jai has been involved in fundraising since he was seven years old, taking part in fun runs, sponsored walks and bikeathons to raise money for a variety of charities including the South Indian Tsunami Appeal, Alzheimer’s Research UK and over £70,000 for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital.
He said, “I have always been encouraged by family to raise money for charity – to give to and help causes that are close to your heart. It’s important to realise that not everyone is as fortunate as you are and that I am really quite lucky to be in the position I am in, so I want to give something back.”
Jai, a canoeing enthusiast and a member at Phoenix Canoe Club, was successfully nominated as a Torch Bearer at the 2012 Olympic Games – an achievement that was followed by a Jack Petchey Achievement Award and a Spirit of London Award in the same year.
“I was totally blown away – particularly meeting David Cameron PM at Downing Street. Receiving these awards was a humbling experience and showed me that anything is possible. The experience has only inspired me to help more!”
The Spirit of London Awards are run by the Damilola Taylor Trust and celebrate young people who are making a difference to their communities. From over 4,000 nominations across ten categories, Jai won the award for Sporting Achievement.
Jai spent the money he received from the Jack Petchey Achievement Award on specialist coaching sessions for the Junior Section of Phoenix Canoe Club.
During his time at Kingsbury High School, Kai was a Sports Leader for both upper and lower school, a member of the school’s hockey team, a cross country runner and Kung Fu black belt. Jai was also praised by his teachers for his behavior and attitude towards his studies. Head of Year 11 at Kingsbury High School Yassine Elhasbaoui identified Jai as the “perfect Kingsburyian”.
Jai is currently in his second year at Uxbridge College studying Mechanical Engineering and is about to complete his Duke of Edinburg Gold Award. He recently completed a 52 mile bikeathon to raise money for Leukaemia and Lymphona Research and is awaiting confirmation to take part in the 2014 London Marathon.
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