Sunderland’s young achievers praised for hard work

Overall winner of Sunderland Young Achievers' 2016, Matt Wylie, 19, with the Mayor and Mayoress of Sunderland, Councillor Barry and Mrs Carol Curran.

Overall winner of Sunderland Young Achievers' 2016, Matt Wylie, 19, with the Mayor and Mayoress of Sunderland, Councillor Barry and Mrs Carol Curran.

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The city has been celebrating the success of its youngest residents.

The Sunderland Young Achievers 2016 awards were held at the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland City Council’s annual awards which celebrate the city’s most talented, creative and community spirited young people were launched more than two decades ago.

The Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Barry Curran, was joined by Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services, Councillor Pat Smith, to help present the awards which recognise the outstanding contribution made by young people in all aspects of community life.

Coun Smith, said: “I am always very proud to be invited to help present the annual Young Achievers’ Awards, which recognise the massive contribution young people across the city make to our communities.

“That contribution should never be underestimated, and these awards are recognition of their individual and shared talent and commitment to improving their lives and the lives of all those around them.

“I believe that these awards are a great incentive for all our young people to strive to be the best that they can be in whatever they do.”

Overall winner this year was Matt Wylie, 19, from Washington who was presented with the Andy Neal Award 2016 which commemorates a former council employee who helped establish the Young Achievers’ Awards.

Matt, who won the Sport Award, is a record-breaking member of the British Para Swimming Team who was named both North East Disability Male Personality and Sunderland Sports Fund Paralympian of the Year for 2015.

Despite his training commitments, studies and competing an apprenticeship, Matt still finds time to coach younger swimmers at Sunderland Swim Club.

Coun Curran, said: “One of the many great honours associated with becoming Mayor is the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of these truly inspirational young people who represent themselves their families and our city so well.”

Also presented with awards were the winners of the Youth Arts Exhibition which was organised by Arts Centre Washington earlier this year.