Shahayna Begum, one of our West Yorkshire Outstanding Achievement winners, attended last weekend’s Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
The 11-year-old, a pupil at Girlington Primary School in Bradford, is profoundly deaf, can’t access speech and uses sign language and lip patterns to communicate.
She was part of her school team which finished runners-up in the 2017 Panathlon West Yorkshire competition. She also won a St. James’s Place Charitable Foundation Yorkshire Children of Courage award last October.
She received our ‘Highly Commended‘ award for West Yorkshire last year due to her leadership and determination when participating in Panathlon competitions, and also for being a sporting role model for her peers.
She left West Yorkshire at 5am on Saturday bound for Windsor Castle accompanied by her school’s lead teacher for the deaf Claire Hussain and head teacher Kathryn Swales. Shahayna was nominated to be one of 1,200 worth members of the public to be invited by school governor Tina Butler.
Teacher Claire Hussain commented: “I am very proud of everything she has done, and was very proud when she won the [Panathlon] award. It’s recognition from wider society that of all the people that could have been chosen, she has been chosen as a deaf child and a representative of Girlington Primary School.”
After the day itself, Mrs Swales told the Bradford Telegraph and Argus: “It was an absolutely wonderful day. We were all blown away by the occasion. We really couldn’t have been in a better place to see the guests arriving.
“I was concerned at first that Shahayna would not be able to see but we were not crowded at all from our vantage point on the lawn and took loads of photographs.
“She kept saying to us what a lovely time she was having and kept asking when she would be able to see Harry and Meghan.
“Claire and I pointed out some of the celebrities she would know and we gazed at the wonderful outfits. It was a truly amazing experience.”