Hurdles champ Shakes-Drayton goes back to East End urging teenagers not let poverty be a barrier

Perri Shakes-Drayton poses with award winners at the Troxy

Perri Shakes-Drayton poses with award winners at the Troxy - Credit: TH Council

British women’s 400m hurdle champion Perri Shakes-Drayton urged youngsters to “not let poverty be a barrier to success” when she returned to her East End roots for the annual Education Achievement awards.

More than 700 students and their families, teachers and school governors packed the Tower Hamlets ceremony at Stepney’s plush Troxy venue on Tuesday night where she was main speaker.

Many of the 240 teenagers receiving awards couldn’t wait to have their snaps taken with the ‘daughter of the East End’ who was brought up and went to school in Bow.

The champ said afterwards: “It’s nice to come back and celebrate with our young people who are achieving and to wish them the best for the future.”

She had urged them in he address not to let poverty be a barrier to success in life.

Youngsters aged 16 to 18 received awards for achievements in academic progress and excellence or contribution to the community or sixth form.

Tanvir Rafe, who left St Paul’s Way secondary in Bow Common last year to study medicine at Oxford, was the ‘young speaker’ of the evening. He told the audience that young people in Tower Hamlets are given the support they needed to go on and achieve what they wanted.

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