Matthew Awarded the Diana Courageous Citizen Award

Matthew Annan, a fully time student at Grantham College studying for a Level 2 Diploma in Carpentry and Joinery, has been awarded the Diana Courageous Citizen Award for 2014 at an award ceremony in London along with other recipients of the Diana Award.

Matthew received his award from Paul Forkan (co-Founder of Gandy Flip Flops and a Diana Youth Ambassador). The award was given for Matthew’s outstanding contribution to the development of Boccia within his local community and Grantham College, officiating on behalf of Boccia England in Regional Tournaments, his voluntary work with his local community and assisting other students with learning and physical disabilities. Boccia is a Paralympic sport for athletes with disabilities that have a major impact on motor skills. Boccia is a target ball sport belonging to the same family as pètanque and bowls.

The Diana Award is a charity organisation founded as a legacy to Diana, Princess of Wales’ belief that young people have the power to change the world for the better. The Diana Award consists of five categories; Diana Active Campaigner, Diana Champion Volunteer, Diana Anti-Bullying Champion, Diana Champion Fundraiser and Diana Courageous Citizen. The Award is presented to young people who have made a positive difference to the lives of others and their communities.

Matthew suffers from cerebral palsy which has drawn him into Boccia. He has thoroughly enjoyed playing Boccia and wanted to develop his skills as an official to offer something back to the sport that he has thoroughly enjoyed. By coaching and officiating he has enriched the lives of many of those at his local club and at Grantham College. Matthew has given up his spare time at Grantham College to coach those with disabilities and special needs so that they have been able to enter competitions. By partaking and doing well in the tournament students have gained so much satisfaction and enjoyment. Matthew willingly offers his support to help a student with special needs to get to Grantham College on public transport.

The award was the ‘icing on the cake’ for Matthew. He recently was chosen as one of 350 aspiring young athletes, coaches and officials from across the country where he was given the unique opportunity to take part in an inspiring four day residential experience as part of the Youth Sport Trust National Talent Camp 2014.

Matthew has been playing Boccia for 4 years since being introduced to the sport at St Georges Academy in Sleaford and later at his local club Sleaford Boccia. Whilst at a National Boccia Competition, organised by Boccia England, Matthew was approached by officials to see if would like to take up refereeing, an opportunity he could not resist. Over the years he has attended officiating development courses, organised by Boccia England, and officiated at numerous tournaments. Matthew is currently qualified to officiate at Regional Level, but through attendance at the National Talent Camp and further training and experience he is hoping to get his National Officiating qualifications.

Matthew now intends now to become a mentor within the region and offer support to other young people in their quest to make a difference within the local community and schools.

Matthew said he is ‘really honoured to have been nominated and selected for such a prestigious award and is looking forward to becoming a mentor for the Diana Awards.’