INSPIRATIONAL youngsters were honoured during an awards ceremony.

Ryan Chandler, a 14-year-old martial arts enthusiast from Basildon, was among 92 winners of a Jack Petchey Foundation achievement award.

Ryan is a senior assistant teacher at weekly Maru Karate Kai classes at Fairhouse Infants’ School, in Long Riding, Basildon, Whitmore Way Junior School, in Basildon, and Luncies Road hall, in Pitsea.

Marc Grayston, who runs the martial arts school, said: “Ryan’s work in improving the confidence of young children has been amazing. We have had so many who were too shy to join in – and then Ryan wanders over and the kids are up taking part and making plenty of noise. He is a star – and embodies our message brilliantly.”

Maru Karate Kai was also handed a £600 grant, which will be spent on a video camera. The club is gearing up for its fifth anniversary, and wants to compile footage from classes, as well as testimonials from parents and youngsters.

The awards were presented during a special ceremony at the Civic Theatre, in Chelmsford.

The event honoured 11-25 yearolds who were nominated by their peers and group leaders for outstanding achievements.

The winners, from 25 groups and organisations, received medals, framed certificates and cheques for £200.

The foundation was set up in 1999 to recognise the positive contributions young people make to society, and to support them in achieving their potential.

It has invested £85million in 2,000 youth initiatives across London and Essex.

For more information, visit www.jackpetcheyfoundation.