A dozen pupils from a Menston school have been given national recognition for their work with youngsters in Africa.

And the students from St Mary’s School, who received the Diana Certificate of Excellence, dedicated their award to a South African pupil they had worked with who died recently.

St Mary’s gained international acclaim for its work with the Mnyakanya School, in Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa, since launching the Bambisanani Partnership five years ago. The partnership – Bambisanani means ‘working hand in hand’ in Zulu – has used sport as a catalyst to promote education, health and leadership in one of South Africa’s poorest communities.

The students who received the award were Rebecca Harrison, Thomas Loughlin, Lisa Melvin, Isabelle Scott, Lorna O’Sullivan, Kate Shelly, Sam Thomas, Alexander Threapleton, Phoebe Tyrie, Alexandra Jewell, Chris Whiteley and Kim Wu.

They all travelled to South Africa last summer to get involved in a wide range of community work.

They mentored 20 students from the Mnyakanya School including Sbonelo Magwaza, who died recently.

Sam Thomas said all the St Mary’s students dedicated their certificates to him.

“It is a great honour to receive this award and we would like to dedicate it to our friend and outstanding young leader, Sbonelo Magwaza, who died recently,” he said.

  • Read the full story in Tuesday’s T&A