This year, a student at London South East Colleges and Dorton College (RSBC’s Further Education College) has been creating huge waves amongst her fellow students and teachers.
Sayma Begum (aka Sami), started to lose her sight at the age of just 6 years old and now lives with, and successfully manages, a severe degenerative visual impairment. None of this has held the 16-year-old back, and she is currently careering ahead on her Sport and Exercise Science Level 3 90 Credit Diploma course.
Sami left school last Summer with an excellent set of GCSEs including good grades in English and maths. With an interest in sports and fitness and a particular love of football and table tennis, Sami decided that she wanted to put her talents towards promoting health, fitness training and sports development in her future career.
Sami says: “I have ambitions to become a sports physiotherapist one day. I’d love to work with professional footballers treating sports injuries – my ideal job would be to work for Liverpool FC, my favourite team.
“I discovered my passion for all things physiology and anatomy during biology lessons at school and knew from an early age what I wanted to do. Because of my visual impairment, I am currently living in at Dorton College and attend the Bromley Campus for 3 days a week.
“At Dorton, I am helped with my living and independence skills and I have two wonderful Learning Support Assistants, Catherine and Janine who guide me through any potential issues regarding my written and theory projects. They are a great help to me and enable me to study without any barriers.”
Sami’s course tutor at London South East Colleges is Karen Giannini. She has been impressed with how well Sami has integrated with her classmates and become a major contributor to the group’s dynamics. She says: “Not only is Sami a very bright and enthusiastic student, but she also has a wonderful personality, charisma in bundles and learns at an amazing pace. We are only at the end of our first term and she is already a big success. I am so glad she joined my class; it is students like her who make teaching a real pleasure.”
Recently, Sami has won a Jack Petchey Award for sporting excellence and inspiring her fellow students. She is currently awaiting to take part in a work placement at a nearby gymnasium and leisure complex in Bromley and has achieved a massive 97% attendance record at the College.
Offering her own personal advice and words of wisdom, Sami adds: “You simply have to make good use of all the senses and abilities you have and not dwell on those that you don’t. You must also do the things you love – and love the things you do. Nothing is going to stop me from achieving my goals and ambitions, and although my physical sight is poor, I can see my future very clearly.”