Talented Leeds teens are named national winners

Two Leeds youngsters have won national awards for their achievements in politics and sport.

Sunday, 31st January 2016, 6:38 pm
Updated Sunday, 31st January 2016, 6:44 pm

Leeds Youth MP Shamim Miah, 18, from Beeston, has been named Young Achiever of the Year at the British Muslim Awards.

And table tennis star Shayan Siraj, from Bramhope, an under-14s national champion, walked away with the gong for achievement in sport.

Shamim, a former Cockburn High School pupil now studying law at university, has been a Member of the UK Youth Parliament (MYP) since being elected in February 2014, after voting by 180,000 young people in Leeds. The organisation lets 11-18 year olds across the country democratically elect their representatives.

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It has annual debates in the House of Commons, where members take to the despatch box and debate the issues considered most important to them and their peers.

This year, Shamim was elected as lead speaker for Yorkshire and the Humber to put a motion forward for a campaign to tackle racism and religious discrimination in the UK. He spoke so passionately that his MYP colleagues adopted it as a UK-wide campaign. Among his other achievements, Shamim is also one of the founders of Bangla Square Youth Club. He said: “It has been an honour to represent the young people of Leeds for the past two years at the forefront of the political system in the House of Commons, and to be recognised as a young Muslim achiever is a success in itself.”

Rising sports star Shayan Siraj, a pupil at the Grammar School at Leeds, has been hitting the headlines from a very early age. He started playing table tennis aged just seven.

The fourth annual British Muslim Awards were held in Birmingham.

There was also good news for another West Yorkshire name, Kashmir Crown Bakeries of Bradford, which won Business of the Year.