Former Isleworth & Syon School Sixth Form student and double Olympic Champion, Mo Farah, was the surprise guest of honour at the school’s annual Awards & Display Evening on Thursday 20 September 2013.
Mo was introduced by Mr Ferguson to the audience of over four hundred students and family members. The audience rose as one and vociferously cheered and applauded as Mo entered the school hall. Mr Ferguson told Mo that everyone in the school community was hugely proud of his achievements.
The awards evening marks the achievements of some of the highest performing students in the school and covers a range of different areas of school life, including among others: academic progress; sporting excellence; for achieving against the odds; for work in the local community or with charities as well as a wide range of special awards.
The students were thrilled to meet one of this summer’s sporting heroes and each one had the opportunity to shake Mo’s hand and offer him their congratulations, whilst receiving their own awards. Arantos Barhani, who won the ‘Key Stage 4 Progress Award’ for outscoring his nationally set GCSE predictions by an incredible twenty-five grades, commented:
“It was the best awards evening in my five years at school. It was magical to have Mo Farah back and to receive an award from him. I will always remember the reception he received when he entered the hall.”
The school’s Glee Club performed and thrilled the audience with their rendition of ‘Too Close’. This was backed up later in the evening with ‘Red Red Wine’ on the Steel Pans and a medley of great British music by members of the school’s Brass Group.
The ‘Sky Spirit of Sport’ Cup, which Mo himself won in 2001, was presented to a new rising star of junior athletics, Jivendra Singh. Mo looked suitably impressed when told that Jivendra has run quicker over both 800m and 1,500m than Mo achieved at the same age!
Charles Greaves won the most prestigious award, the Headmaster’s Cup, for his outstanding academic performance at A Level and for his contributions to music, public speaking and fund-raising.
Miles Clark (Year 8), Joe Barnes (Year 9), Swaraj Sandhu (Year 10) and Dylan O’Sullivan (Year11) had the opportunity to put questions to Mo at the end of the evening. In answering Swaraj’s question about what it takes to become Olympic champion, Mo reminded the students that success only follows a lot of “hard work and graft”.
Dylan asked about The Mo Farah Foundation and Mo talked of his aspirations to see poverty reduced in East Africa. Departing Sixth Form student Bradley Goater and current member of staff Miss Taylor – both international athletes in their own right – rounded off proceedings by presenting Mo with a cheque for £3,000 for the work of his foundation.