WHAT a bunch of Superkids!
These youngsters were nominated by their closest family members, friends and teachers to receive recognition for their outstanding talents, bravery and citizenship.
An audience of business and civic leaders, sportsmen and musicians heard heart-rending stories of adversity, sacrifice and inspiration, during a magnificent awards ceremony at Mercure St Paul’s Hotel in Sheffield.
For the 15th year The Star set out to celebrate the most exceptional children in South Yorkshire - youngsters who give up time and effort to help others, who overcome tough circumstances to excel, and those who put a smile on other faces every day, despite their difficulties.
Introduced by BBC Look North presenter Clare Frisby, awards were presented in 10 different categories, from those recognising bravery and citizenship, to those celebrating educational progress, musical brilliance and excellence in sports.
South Yorkshire celebrities were out in force to congratulate the winning kids, including former world champion boxer Johnny Nelson, Britain’s Got Talent stars Sophie Mei and 2Grand pair Sally Lax and John Neil, Sheffield Steeler Tom Squires and Blades legend Tony Currie.
Also presenting an award was solo musician Jon Windle, formerly of Little Man Tate.
Jon said: “These kids are the real stars. The things they have achieved are far greater than anything I have ever done. It has been such a humbling experience.”
Former England international Tony Currie said: “I’ve worked with children for 25 years at the Sheffield United training camps, and when a child achieves something and is recognised for it, the look on their face makes it all worthwhile.”
New Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Coun Sylvia Dunkley, said: “It really struck me how inspiring these young people can be for other kids.
“Some of the tales we heard, of what these young people have had to cope with, were astounding.
“As a councillor I often heard complaints about what kids are doing in certain areas, causing trouble. But when you hear such positive stories, that don’t often come to light, it really makes you stop and think.”
High Sheriff of South Yorkshire, Andrew Coombe, presenting one of the awards, said: “You are our future, so well done to you.
“It’s really humbling to be here today. The nominations I saw, which didn’t win, were also very, very impressive. The judges had a very difficult job.”