Olympic sprinter Adam Gemili among 50 honoured at Barking & Dagenham College awards

Olympic sprinting ace Adam Gemili showed he’s just as impressive when focused on his studies as on the track when he attended his college’s excellence awards.

The 19-year-old was among 50 Barking and Dagenham College students commended for going that extra mile throughout the past year during a glitzy ceremony at the Broadway Theatre last night.

It was little surprise that Adam – who narrowly missed out on a place in the 100m finals to compete against Usain Bolt at this summer’s London Games – took the student of the year gong for “outstanding endeavour”.

He also nabbed the sports and public services industries award.

Adam, who received a distinction for his BTEC diploma in sport at the Dagenham Road institute, said: “I had two great years there and I learnt so much and made so many good friends.”

Afterwards, his tutor Errol Parker praised the student’s tireless attitude to his course, in spite of having such a huge opportunity awaiting him at the Games.

He said: “He always met deadlines, never made excuses, came to college when he could, and remained in touch with his tutors throughout his training.”

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A wide range of disciplines from hairdressing to engineering were praised during the ceremony, which is held every year.

The night is a big fixture on the college’s calendar and gives students from many courses a chance to show off their skilld.

During the evening, visitors enjoyed canap�s that were made by catering students at the college and music and dance entertainment was put on by the performing arts department.

Technical theatre students provided the lighting, audio and sound.

Claire Young, a former finalist in BBC business hit The Apprentice, made a speech to the students, telling them: “The college’s motto ‘passionate about success’ aren’t just words on a brochure, it seems to run throughout the whole ethos of everybody involved in the college.”

Cathy Walsh, principal, said: “It’s been a once-in-a-generation year - we marked the college’s 50th Anniversary and had a huge involvement in the London 2012 Olympics with students and staff appearing not only behind scenes but also making the headlines.

“We have 13,000 students at the college and tonight’s winners are the ones that excelled above all the rest.”