A partially sighted teenager from Bradford has received a national award recognising his determination and effort in overcoming visual impairment to become an inspiration to others.
16-year-old Usman Zahid, from West Bowling in Bradford, was one of four youngsters presented with the Actionnaires Member of the Year award from a national charity – Action for Blind People (Action).
A surprise ceremony for Usman took place at the English Institute for Sport, in Sheffield with British Paralympian Lee Brunton.
Usman, who has the eye condition Nystagmus, has been a member of Bradford Actionnaires since it first began in 2008, always leading by example, getting involved in the activities and events on a regular basis.
He is now also a volunteer, assisting and guiding other blind and partially sighted youngsters during activities and visits.
Usman said: “Having a disability especially visual impairment has always been hard and I was always last to be picked in class at school.
“I never thought I would win an award and could help other people in sports. It’s a dream come true for me. I hope I can encourage lots of other children with sight loss to put their disability aside and show others that they are no less than the rest.”
The judges recognised Usman over hundreds of other blind and partially sighted youngsters who attend Action’s Actionnaires clubs – which help to develop fitness and artistic skills of visually impaired children, encouraging self-confidence and social interaction.
Zahid, Usman’s dad, said: “This is a great moment for our family to see Usman being nominated and win this award.
“Our aim has always been to see our son lead an active and as normal life as possible.
“Usman has been very active from a young age, always wanting to help others to do things that he found difficult but this has never stopped him try and achieve new things.”
Craig Brown, activity coordinator at Action for Blind People, said: “Usman is a great role model to all those in the club; his positivity and independence shows others that a visual impairment should never get in the way of achieving your goals.
“Volunteering is a fantastic opportunity for Usman to develop and gain experience and confidence. He’s a credit to the club.”