Belfast Telegraph

Youngsters get a golden chance to meet Prince Philip

By Joanne Sweeney

Gold was the order of the day for 100 young people from Northern Ireland whose hard work and endeavour was officially recognised.

The young men and women got to meet real and sporting royalty when they received their gold Duke of Edinburgh awards at Hillsborough Castle yesterday.

The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, travelled over to present the gold certificate awards to those who had made the grade while the guest presenter was Kelly Gallagher MBE, winner of Great Britain's first Winter Paralympic gold medal during Sochi 2014.

Prince Philip chatted with the young people, their families and leaders as he presented operating authority licence certificates to the Girls' Brigade Northern Ireland, the Southern Education and Library Board and the Scout Foundation Northern Ireland.

He also presented certificates to the first group in Northern Ireland to complete the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Leadership Training Course.

The awards continue Northern Ireland's excellent record of achievement and participation in the Duke of Edinburgh scheme, founded by Prince Philip in 1956, in which around 8,000 young people take part each year.

Northern Ireland has the highest number of young people per head of population undertaking the programme and the highest percentage of young people who achieve an award. Last year 4,733 young people achieved an award.

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