Dual success at Barnet sports awards

Old Elizabethan and 2008 Paralympics gold medallist Tom Aggar and current pupil Kem Onubogu both received prestigious awards at the annual Barnet Celebrating Sports Awards.

More than 300 guests and nominees attended the event at North London Business Park, including the Mayor of Barnet, Councillor John Marshall, Olympic triple jumper Larry Achike and QE’s Headmaster, Dr John Marincowitz.

The prizes were presented by Larry Achike and Barnet Principal Inspector Schools and Learning, Mick Quigley.

Tom, who triumphed in the men’s single sculls in Beijing and is also the reigning world champion, won the borough’s overall Sporting Achievement of the Year Award. He had in fact been nominated by the School for the Disability Award even before his achievement in the Paralympics.

A graduate of Warwick University, Tom, 24, was a pupil at Queen Elizabeth’s School between 1995 and 2002. He started rowing to keep fit in 2005 after a serious accident had left him paralysed.

As well as receiving his award, Tom also took part in a question-and-answer session at the ceremony.

Kem outstripped two other local young people to take the Young Volunteer of the Year Award for his work supporting sport and PE at a local primary school. He was required to do a minimum of 10 hours’ work as part of the Community Sports Leadership Award scheme, but in fact put in more than 50 hours. He was nominated by the primary school.

Dr Marincowitz said: “The borough’s award for Tom Aggar marks a fitting end to a tremendous year in which his dedication, his strength of character and his skill in his chosen sport have been richly and deservedly rewarded. I would also like to congratulate Kem for his award. At QE, we seek to ensure that our boys not only achieve academic success and personal fulfilment, but also make a contribution to society: Kem is an excellent example of that.”