On Wednesday 15th November, the Air League was delighted to welcome over 200 guests to the annual Scholarship Awards Reception, sponsored by British Airways, Lockheed Martin and Airbus.
The Reception allows Scholarship Recipients, their families and Scholarship Sponsors to meet, network and celebrate achievements. Scholarship Certificates were presented by the President of the Air League, Sir Christopher Harper, followed by an inspiring keynote speech from the Director of Flight Operations at British Airways, Simon Cheadle.
This year, the Air League was proud to award a total of 107 Scholarships; 27 Gliding Scholarships, 66 Flying Scholarships, 6 Engineering Scholarships and 8 Drone Scholarships.
Data from this year’s Scholars highlights that 31% are female, which is far higher than the industry average of 6.5% for pilots. 49% of Scholars are under the age of 18, and 47% are aged between 18-25. Furthermore, one in three Scholars are from an ethnic or minority background and 50% of Scholars’ parents were not university educated.
The Reception also saw the presentation of three additional annual awards.
The Prince Phillip Award, presented to Samuel Baker:
“I feel extremely privileged and fortunate to have been awarded the Prince Phillip Award. The 617 Squadron Association granted me the Guy Gibson VC 12 Hour Flying Scholarship, which I used to finish my PPL at my flying club in Fairoaks. Being awarded the scholarship by such an important and commemorative organisation really means a lot to me, as I have a deep understanding and appreciation of the rich history behind them. I aspire to join the RAF as a pilot, and will be forever grateful to the Air League and the 617 Squadron Association for supporting me in my flying training.”
The Evelyn Saunders Memorial Cup, presented to Niamh Woods:
“Being the recipient of the Evelyn Saunders Memorial Cup 2023 fills me with great pride, as it is a personal success within my flying journey towards achieving my dreams of becoming a commercial pilot. Along with my determination and hard work, the scholarships the Air League have awarded me have given me opportunities to achieve new skills and progress further within the aerospace and aviation industry. I hope to inspire more women to become involved with flying in the future and I thank everybody who made this all possible.”
The Eagle Eye Drone Scholar of the Year Award, presented to Simon Garland-Lo:
“This really came out of the blue for me. I really enjoyed the course and learnt so much from it, not just the legislation and regulatory side but even how to be a better pilot. The Air League and EEI have enabled me to fly my drone safely, with confidence and capture even better imagery than before. Receiving this award has highlighted to me that I can achieve more and has driven my confidence to push forward with a future within the RPAS industry.”
The Air League congratulates all 107 of this year’s Scholars and thanks the Event Sponsors, British Airways, Lockheed Martin and Airbus, for their generous support. The Trust would also like to thank all of the Air League’s Corporate Sponsors, Scholarship Sponsors and Members for their continued support in aim of Changing Lives Through Aviation.
See below for the full image gallery: