AN ELLESMERE Port teenager has received a Duke of Edinburgh gold award for his efforts.
David Charles-Hendy, 17, of Appletree Road, Whitby, earned the accolade for a range of voluntary work including sword fencing and mentoring younger pupils.
David, a pupil of Bishops High School, Chester, collected his award at a ceremony at St James Palace, London.
The Ellesmere Port Your Champions Young Person of the Year 2009 said: “Three years ago I had to choose an activity for my Duke of Edinburgh award. My school had just started a sword fencing club so I decided to give it a go.
“Eventually my coach Valerijs Shchipanovs, an ex-Olympic coach, encouraged me to enter a national and later an international fencing competition where I fought some of the UK’s top fencers.
“Last year, as a result of my hard work, I won a medal in the Much Wenlock Olympic Games and recently broke into the senior UK foil rankings.
“I now referee competitions and coach at the Wrexham Fencing Club and in my school while studying for my fencing coach’s certificate.
“As a corporal in the Air Training Corps I had many adventures including flying, shooting and coming face to face with an SAS assault team in the middle of a forest on a pitch black night armed only with just my trusty torch and a map!
“I had a speaking role in the Chester Mystery Plays in which I performed in front of thousands of people.
“All these experiences were due to my involvement in the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme, which is why I am always encouraging many people as possible to take up the challenge.
“I have always enjoyed a challenge, even as a Cub Scout when I set my mind to get all the badges available, which I managed with the help of my leader.”