Northern Regional College held their annual Irish Society Certificate of Merit Awards at the Coleraine Campus. Congratulations to this year's recipients - Kurtis Ashcroft, first year BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport & Exercise Science and Shirlene McFeeley, second year student from BTEC National Diploma in Health and Social Care - who received their certificates from representatives of the Honourable the Irish Society.
Kurtis is a year 1 student on the BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport and Exercise Science at the NRC, Coleraine Campus. Academically, Kurtis has an excellent record to date. He is predicted Distinction grades in most of his year one modules and has an outstanding attendance record over this first year of 97%. Kurtis is a hard working, diligent student who greatly adds to the dynamic of his year group.
Kurtis’ outstanding academic record is only surpassed by his sporting achievements. Competing primarily in the sport of Judo, he is currently recognised as one of the most outstanding young talents in the UK and Europe. Within Northern Ireland, he has been NI Schools games champion, Northern Ireland Junior champion (5 years running) and Irish “Cadet” Champion. He has also won many prestigious Judo championships throughout the UK, including the Heart of England championship, the Highland Region Championship and the Grangemouth Open Championship. Kurtis has also begun to compete in senior competitions and this past year won Senior Closed silver medal in the Northern Ireland Championships – an outstanding achievement for a 17 year old!
Most recently (May 2012), Kurtis has competed in the UK Schools Games, representing the Northern Regional College, and Northern Ireland at this event. Kurtis won 2 of his contests at the games – the best of the NI competitors, and helped secure a bronze medal for Northern Ireland. This event was held at the 2012 Olympic Stadium in London which will host the Judo competition in this year’s games. Competing at this stadium has proved a huge inspiration for Kurtis and proves that the legacy of these games will continue well beyond 2012. Kurtis’ longer term goals are to qualify for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, and the 2016 Olympic Games – achievements which are well within the grasp of this outstanding NRC student.
Shirlene began her studies at NRC (Coleraine Campus) in September 2010, enrolling on the National Diploma in Health and Social Care, having completed a Diploma in Beauty Therapy at NRC Ballymoney following her studies to GCSE level at Dalriada School. At the end of this academic year it is expected that Shirlene will achieve a full distinction profile.
Shirlene is a very personable, pleasant co-operative girl. She displays a genuinely caring nature and continues to develop excellent people and communication skills. Her academic work is highly organised and insightful and she works with only a minimum of supervision. She is excellent practically and is not at all 'fazed' by the challenging nature of some placements. At all times she worked intuitively and effectively and displayed tact diplomacy and professionalism. Her open straightforward manner, leadership skills, approachability and reliability helped her gain the respect and trust of all client groups.
Placement reports were outstanding and provide evidence of a genuinely caring student who displayed maturity, sensitivity and empathy in working in highly pressured, challenging environments. She developed many hands-on skills which informed her practice particularly in her placement in a palliative care unit. There can be no doubt she has a natural ability and disposition to work with all client groups. She is responsible, reliable and dependable and these qualities with others have earned her considerable respect in placement and in the work environment. Shirlene has a clear "gift" for working meaningfully in the health care sector and staff recognised the important contribution she made in demonstrating her genuinely caring nature, commitment, rapport with clients, maturity and understanding of the needs of others. In September, she will progress to a BSc (Hons) Nursing programme. Shirlene is a truly exceptional student and it has been a pleasure to have been involved in her education.
NRC staff would like to wish both students continued success in the future.