22nd May 2024

Gold Medal Olympian & Actor Honour Young Winners of ‘Celebration Day’ Competition

Celebration Day Writing Competiton

To mark this year’s Celebration Day, Dame Katherine Grainger and Nathaniel Parker give public reading of school children’s winning competition entries about those from the past who have inspired them.

Today we are proud to annouce the winners of the third annual Celebration Day competition. The competition was open to all 5 – 18 year olds, and challenged them to celebrate someone remarkable from the past with a written or recorded audio entry. 

The competition is in support of this year’s Celebration Day, taking place on Monday 27th May 2024, aimed at encouraging people to remember and celebrate the lives of those who are no longer here but continue to inspire us. Through this competition we worked to encourage young people to discover their voice and build confidence in sharing their stories!

Entries didn’t have to be about famous people, but they did have to focus on someone who has passed away. This year there was a new optional theme of ‘sporting heroes throughout history’, and a ‘teacher category’, where adult educators can enter a submission to win a prize.

As part of the prize giving, Dame Katherine Grainger DBE, – who is the current Chair of UK Sport, and British former rower who won Gold at the 2012 Summer Olympics – has recorded a special recital of the three winning entries on sporting figures. British Actor, Nathaniel Parker, will be recording his recital of the other winning entries.

Dame Katherine Grainger, said; 

“Celebration Day is all about honouring those who have gone but left a lasting positive example, and it’s been really touching reading the winners entries and seeing who has inspired them. I can particularly relate to the sporting entries as there are many sporting heroes of my own who I would love to write about. Finding your voice and being able to share your thoughts is one of the keys to a happy and successful life, and this competition is a brilliant way to encourage young people to play with, and develop, those skills!”


Winners were picked across five age group categories alongside an additional teacher category. The competition was free to enter, with winners also being awarded an iPad each.

You can read all of our winning entries here!

Maya, from Poplar Primary School in London, who won the 8-10 year old category with her entry about her Great Grandfather, said;

“Winning this competition felt like a lightening bolt of joy. I hope that the story of my Great Granddad Peter will touch many other hearts. Writing his story felt like having my heart on my sleeve, like riding on a stormy sea, full of bittersweet memories.”

Nevan, from Erskine Stewart’s Melville School in Edinburgh, who won the 11-13 year old category with his entry about Brazilian racing car driver Ayrton Senna, said;

“I am in absolute shock. I never expected to be able to win such a widespread competition. I am super happy that I had this opportunity and was able to represent our school. The iPad and publication are just side achievements, what made it worthwhile was getting to write it!”

Connor, from Calday Grange Grammar School in West Kirby, who won the 14-16 year old category with his entry about his Grandfather, said;

“I am absolutely delighted to have won this amazing competition. It is truly thrilling to have been awarded such a great accolade. I can’t believe I have won! To any other students who are thinking of entering writing competitions – try it! I didn’t think I would win but I am overjoyed to have won!”

The recordings of the performances by Dame Katherine Grainger and Nathaniel Parker will be hosted on our website from Friday 24th May. Visit www.theday.co.uk to find out more.