A Nelson and Colne College student has had her extraordinary achievements recognised at the ninth annual BTEC Awards at Central Hall Westminster.

BTEC Level 3 Sport student Dominika Bzdon, 18, from Nelson, was awarded the accolade of BTEC Sport Student of the Year after achieving Triple Distinction* in her studies. She will now become the first generation of her family to go to university to pursue her career goal of becoming a sports coach or PE teacher.

The former Marsden Heights Community College student has also volunteered every week to help children in their learning at Blacko Primary School and has been crowned as the college’s Extracurricular Champion for her commitment to the programme after completing dozens of sessions across approximately 20 different activities including archery, badminton, table tennis, chess club, and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award.

During her time at NCC, Dominika is also the only vocational student to be accepted onto the college’s Young Leaders programme – designed to develop leadership, effective communication and presentation skills – and her desire to help others has seen her be a Reading Mentor, aiding LDD students with their learning, and a Peer Mentor supporting students who are struggling with their studies.

Dominika said: “I’m excited to win the BTEC Sport Student of the Year Award – it is an amazing feeling one that is totally unexpected.

“Sport has always been a major part of my life and this led me to choose the BTEC route at Nelson and Colne College, because it allows me to study something that I love doing. I feel really passionate about sport, health and the effects of sport on people.

“I previously studied Level 2 Health and Fitness at secondary school and I really like the assignment element of the BTEC as it suits my way of learning. The knowledge I have gained during my BTEC is supporting my career aim, and I also feel I have developed a range of new skills through the units I have studied that complement my aspirations.”

Spanning 24 categories, the Pearson BTEC Awards were hosted by financial journalist and TV Presenter Steph McGovern. They showcase the fantastic effort made by students to gain recognised qualifications which are heavily in demand from employers and universities.

The ceremony was attended by the winners, their families and teachers as well as leading representatives from education and business. An expert panel of 52 judges carefully considered each nominee before deciding upon a winner.

Amanda Melton, Principal of Nelson and Colne College, said: “I am absolutely thrilled for Dominika, and she is very worthy of receiving this national accolade.

“Throughout her studies at Nelson and Colne College, she has excelled in her course and her attendance has been exemplary.

“Dominika has also wholeheartedly embraced the opportunities she has had to develop herself personally and professionally through the college’s extracurricular programme.

“Add to this her cheery nature, and her desire to support her peers in college as well as children in their learning at a local school, this award really is richly deserved. Well done Dominika.”

Nelson and Colne College is the number one college in the country for 16-18 learner achievement and 16-18 timely Apprenticeship achievement. The college is also number one in Lancashire for A Levels and vocational courses, based on progress scores, and is the leading FE College in the country for GCSE Mathematics progress and second nationally for English progress.

NCC is also the number one college in Lancashire for both student satisfaction and employer satisfaction, based on the latest FE Choices survey.

For more information about Nelson and Colne College contact 01282 440272 or visit www.nelson.ac.uk