Student Joshua Gibbs, from Emneth, had a dream come true when he met motor-racing legend Martin Brundle as their links with the College of West Anglia took them both to a prestigious event at the House of Commons.
Former Formula One driver, presenter and now Sky TV commentator Martin received a coveted Association of Colleges gold award as one of a number of people who have excelled, having been former college students.
And Joshua, 19, went along as the College of West Anglia nominated him as a “future star”. He is also following in the footsteps of Martin as both studied business at the Lynn college.
Martin was presented with his gold award by Lord Willis of Knaresborough, who is President of the Association of Colleges. Staff and students from the College of West Anglia were present at the awards ceremony, which is held each year to celebrate the success of further education alumni as well as acknowledge the vital role that colleges play in the careers of the winners and of their continuing achievements.
Martin was nominated by the college where he studied a Diploma in Business Studies between 1975 and 1977.
At a past visit to the college, he spoke of how the skills and knowledge he got from studying subjects such as economics, law, statistics and accounts all helped him when he went on to help run his father’s car dealership after leaving college and in his career ever since.
Martin started his racing career in 1971 at the age of 12, driving a self-built Ford Anglia grass track car near his West Norfolk home.
He still maintains links with his former college, most recently in 2013 when he performed the official opening of the college’s Technology Centre.
On winning his award Martin Brundle said: “I’m delighted to receive this Gold Award from the Association of Colleges, just as I’m happy to see the College of West Anglia still thriving many decades later. It was an important two years in my life.”
To highlight the important role further education continues to play for today’s students, a ‘future star’ campaign is run alongside the Gold Awards.
The nominating colleges each select a current student who shows promise in a similar field to their Gold Award winner.
Joshua is currently studying a BTEC Extended Diploma in Business at the College of West Anglia, after which he hopes to develop a career in business.
Joshua, had the opportunity to meet Martin at the award ceremony at the House of Commons on June 11.
CWA Executive Director for Curriculum Arlene Clark said: “It was a great honour and pleasure to attend the celebration and we were delighted that Josh was given the opportunity to meet Martin Brundle.
“Josh has done fantastically well at college and intends to take a degree in business at CWA before embarking on a career in the business world.”