The UCLan supported Education Achievement Award was presented to 13-year-old student Vishal Karri at Fusion.

Winners of the annual Awards were announced at a glittering ceremony on Saturday May 13 at King George’s Hall, Blackburn.

The UCLan sponsored Fusion Education Achievement Award is presented to an individual who has been determined to succeed despite barriers and obstacles.

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Vishal was presented the award by Lynne Livesey, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) at UCLan.

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It also looks to reward those in education at all levels who have the potential to achieve higher than average qualifications and are thus an inspiration to others in their community.

As well as being an outstanding student, Vishal is a volunteer and football coach who has dedicated over 200 hours of his time to volunteering.  

Vishal has excelled at school exhibiting a particular forte in IT.

It was Vishal’s inclination towards IT that led him to begin his trajectory in volunteering.

Football club Fishwick Rangers needed help with their computers and with Vishal’s reputation surpassing him, he was asked to assist them.

This led to the onset of a thriving volunteering journey.

Since starting as a volunteer with the Fishwick Rangers Tiny Tots Scheme just over two years ago, Vishal has now completed his necessary competencies as well as working alone to show his development.

Vishal coaches regularly at the weekend, helping young people aged 4-8 from across the city improve their football skills with the Tiny Tots scheme. 

He also gives up his summer holidays to volunteer at the club’s holiday programme where he works as part of a team coaching over 100 children. 

Vishal's main motivation to be a coach is to ‘help inspire others to become as good a player as they can be.’

Vishal said, "I want to say thanks to my mum for always dropping me off to all the places and well done to everyone here today. You've all done something good."

A statement from UCLan read: “At the University of Central Lancashire our mission is to create positive change in our students, staff, business partners and wider communities, enabling them to develop their full potential by providing excellent higher education, innovation and research.

“We are proud to be supporting the Education Achievement Award which honours those who have excelled in their education against the odds or have helped to inspire their local community through volunteering and charitable work.”