OLYMPIC swimming star Rebecca Adlington was the guest of honour as almost 300 young people were honoured for taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme.
The athlete, who won two gold medals at the Beijing games in 2008 and two bronzes in London this year gave a speech congratulating the teenagers during a celebration evening at Cutler’s Hall.
She praised the youngsters for their hard work and the amount of hours put in to achieving the honours – at the same time as studying for GCSEs, A-levels, college or university courses.
Awards were handed out by Lord Mayor of Sheffield Coun John Campbell.
He said: “The awards are about young people aspiring to achieve and involve a big commitment – some of them come out of the process totally changed.
“They learn a lot more confidence, discipline, teamwork and independence.
“The Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards are a huge scheme for young people with 275,000 taking part around the country this year alone.”
In total, 284 youngsters were invited to the presentation, 188 of whom had achieved the bronze award, 68 silver and 28 gold.
Gold award winners were from Birkdale School, King Ecgbert School, King Edward VII School, Norton College, Notre Dame Catholic High School, Sheffield Springs Academy, Silverdale School, Tapton School and Sheffield University.
Some youngsters had entered the awards independently, helped by Sheffield Award Centre, which manages the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme in the city.
Sue Johnson, of Sheffield Award Centre, said: “All of the young people collecting awards have done some form of voluntary work such as helping in charity shops, sports coaching, fundraising for charities and helping at residential care homes.
“They have also developed a skill which can be playing a musical instrument or learning how to cook.”
Sue said part of the award involves regular participation in sports or games.
“They also take part in an expedition, carrying their own rucksack, camping and cooking meals together. They plan their own route around the countryside, a large number in the Peak District.”