Swans star Joe Allen has signed-up for a new scheme to inspire and reward young people.
The Wales midfielder has been named as an ambassador for the new High 5 Awards being launched by Swansea Council this week.
The awards will highlight the positive actions and amazing achievements of children and teenagers in Swansea and have been sponsored by Gower College Swansea.
Allen, who has had an outstanding debut season in the Premier League, is thrilled to be involved in the awards, having overcome the odds to become one of the country’s leading young footballers.
Despite being told as a schoolboy that he was too small to be a footballer, Allen starred for Swansea City’s youth team before signing as a professional footballer at the age of 17.
He said: “I would not be where I am now if it wasn’t for the belief and support people had for me when I was a young player. I hope that the award winners will inspire young people to believe in themselves and work hard to follow their dreams. “I hope they will also remind everyone that we should be proud of the young people in our communities.”
The idea for High 5 came out of Swansea Council’s consultation with young people over recognising the positive contribution they make and to counteract the negative publicity young people get nationwide.
Jack Straw, Chief Executive of Swansea Council, said: “Whether it’s through personal achievement, working for others or caring for someone, there are inspirational young people in all our communities who too often go unnoticed. Their amazing achievements are something we should be recognising and be proud of. I’d like to see these awards build young people’s self-confidence and send a clear message everyone can achieve their goal.”
Nick Bennett, Principal of Gower College Swansea, said: “It’s extremely important that young people are recognised and rewarded for the good work they carry out within their communities. We are very proud to sponsor the brand new High 5 Awards scheme and join in the celebration of these inspirational individuals.”
Nominations are now open for entries into the High 5 Awards. There are two age groups - those aged up to 13 and 14 to 19-year-olds. Nominations can be received in five categories – Achiever, Caring, Community, Enterprise and Environment.
Any individual, organisation or school can nominate a young person for an award as along as the young person nominated is aged 19 and under and is either a resident or educated within the boundary of Swansea.
Each winner will receive a £50 prize, a tailor-made prize involving a personal activity or opportunity and they will be invited to the celebration awards evening along with their nominator and two guests.
Go to www.swansea.gov.uk/high5awards to download or fill in a form or pick one up in the Civic Centre, Swansea, and return it to High 5 Awards, Canoldre Centre, Jockey Street, Swansea SA1 1NS.
Further details area available on the website or e-mail queries to High5Awards@swansea.gov.uk
The closing date for all submissions is August 10, 2012.
The High 5 Awards are being organised by Swansea Council with sponsorship from Gower College Swansea and kindly supported by Swansea Sound and The Wave, Swansea City F.C and the Rotary Club.