Rising Stars honoured

John Phillips A TEENAGER who has battled bone cancer has been recognised for his courage in Barking and Dagenham s first ever Rising Stars Awards. Florio Kazazi, 17, scooped the award for forging ahead with his studies at Robert Clack School, Gosfield Road, Dagenham, a

John Phillips

A TEENAGER who has battled bone cancer has been recognised for his courage in Barking and Dagenham's first ever Rising Stars Awards.

Florio Kazazi, 17, scooped the award for forging ahead with his studies at Robert Clack School, Gosfield Road, Dagenham, a year after being struck down with the cancer.

Florio, of The Coverdales, Gascoigne Estate, Barking, was a keen rugby player but could no long play after having a metal prosthesis inserted in his leg and undergoing chemotherapy.


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Robert Clack deputy headteacher Russell Taylor said: "He has shown such a positive attitude towards it. Lesser people would have let that affect them too strongly."

Florio said: "I was looking forward to coming back rather than being a year in hospital. It's nice to be back."

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A cavalcade of other inspirational teenagers were also recognised for their citizenship, artistic and sporting ability, health and academic achievement in the awards.

Judges were "blown away" with the amount of talent and determination as it unveiled winners in 11 categories at Castle Green, Dagenham.

Niji Adeleye, 16, of Blake Avenue, Barking, who first learned the piano just four years ago, received the music award.

He plays in jazz trio Rhythm 38 and opened a music night featuring 250 Barking and Dagenham musicians at Sadler's Wells theatre in London last year.

He said: "I feel very proud and privileged. Some of the winners are my friends. They feel very privileged. We're happy to have won."

Niji's pals Edward Kuffoure and Kevin Mukendi, both 16, were among 15 youngsters who won the health award for their Big Deal Obesity DVD.

The 25-minute DVD, made between April and June, will be shown to students to help them make healthy lifestyle choices.

Studio 3 Arts, Abbey Road, Barking, oversaw the project commissioned by NHS Barking and Dagenham.

Barking and Dagenham volunteer police cadets picked up the safer community award and Lamont Lockhart was crowned young achiever of the year.

The talented performing arts student at Dagenham Park Sixth Form, School Road, was given the chance to perform with the National Youth Dance Festival.

Lamont, 17, of Park Drive, Dagenham, said: "I couldn't believe it when I won. I kept saying 'no way'. There was a great atmosphere on the night."

Gifted student Tina Imatitikuka, also of Robert Clack School, received the academic award. Cricketer, footballer and athlete Jack Baldwin, a student at Eastbury Comprehensive, Hulse Avenue, Barking, was crowned sportsperson of the year.

Students Enrik Nako and Andrew Crawford, behind the Turn It Off school campaign to keep lights and equipment switched off, won the green award.

Alex Watson, a disabled student who looks after his two autistic brothers, scooped the carer award.

Student Katie Reed, who has a rare disorder called Williams syndrome but raises cash for the Dagenham Mencap club, won in the supporting your community category while was Ben Bickford was young volunteer of the year.

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