Rowan pupils show wealth of talent in competition

Winning girls will lead out teams at Commonwealth Games

Two Merton pupils have been invited to take part in the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games after taking part in an essay writing competition run by a national newspaper.

Waheeda Rahman, 16, and Bana Amin, 15, from Rowan High School will lead out the team of a competing nation at the games in Manchester this summer after they both won an essay on citizenship competition in the Guardian newspaper.

The girls will have specially made uniforms for the ceremony, that will take place in front of 38,000 spectators and millions worldwide on TV, and will have to take part in rehearsals.

The Guardian competition was judged by an all-star panel including the Education Secretary, Estelle Morriss MP, film-maker Lord Puttnam, newsreader Moira Stewart and David and Carrie Grant from Pop Idol.

Sarah O’ Flynn, the girls’ teacher, said: “It’s astonishing that with so many entries, the school should have two winners. We are thrilled for the girls and very, very proud.”

Councillor Geraldine Stanford, Cabinet Member for Education & Lifelong Learning, said: “What a fantastic literary achievement by two of Merton’s pupils. Well done to both girls and the school on behalf of Merton and I hope they have a wonderful experience they’ll never forget.”