Kingsbury High School pupil, Jai Padhiar has been chosen as one of the 8,000 inspirational people who will carry the Olympic Flame as it journeys across the UK.
Jai, 16, was nominated by his dad, who outlined all of Jai’s sporting interests and achievements and charity work to date, and this nomination was selected out of tens of thousands of nominations.
In addition to this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Jai has also been selected with part of his Canoe club to be an Olympic Game Maker. Phoenix Canoe Club, based in the Welsh Harp, applied as part of a team and were then involved in a selection process in which they were assessed on various activities.
Jai interest in sports started at a young age and in recent months he has raised money for charities such as Great Ormond Street and Alzheimer’s research.
In order to keep the torch, torch bearers have been asked to pay for it themselves – costing a total of £250. Yassine Elhasbaoui, Head of Year 11, at Kingsbury High School asked members of staff to donate to assist Jai in funding the torch. The school raised £154. The school will ask to borrow the torch for display during the period Jai is at the school and he will take it with him when he leaves.
Yassine said, “Jai is a very talented pupil who has always taken part in a variety of extra-curricular sporting activities. He is also one of our sports leaders in charge of many events for both lower and upper school. He is a member of the school’s hockey team and plays for Harrow hockey club. He is a cross-country runner and represents Brent in national championships. He came first on several occasions. He ran the Virgin mini marathon. He is a Kung Fu black belt and he received the KHS sports personality of the year award in year 9. He has a perfect behaviour and attendance record and is predicted A’s in most of his subjects. He is just the perfect ‘Kingsburian’.”
A further £50 has been donated by Sing and Sign a company of which Jai’s mother, Versha Padhiar, is a franchisee in the North West London area. Sing and Sing teaches babies how to communicate with adults through signing before they are able to speak.
Jai’s moment to shine will be on Wednesday 25th July at 9.59am, Peterborough Road, Harrow, HA1 2AX.
[image & text by Camille Shah]