Photo comp: Disha Awasthi, Australia
Disha Awasthi
Award Level:
Favourite memory of the Award:
5...6...7...8... HIT! My favourite memory of the award is my Cheerleading competition. After hours of hard work and training, the day had finally come for my first cheerleading competition! I arrived on the competition mat, a litre of hairspray on my ponytail, a shiny uniform, and a stomach full of butterflies. I was so nervous and scared, and I started to picture all the things that could go wrong; falling down from the stunt, forgetting my moves, or just freezing on stage. Then, the music started, and everything faded to background noise. I remember feeling like here, on the Cheerleading mat was where I belonged. I felt like I could do this forever. Somewhere between the toe touches, and lifting the flyer a metre above me, I lost myself to the routine, and it was amazing. Afterwards, I sat with my team, all of us holding hands, eager to hear our results. They started to announce who won, and as a team, all of our breaths were held, until we heard the results. "AND IN 1ST PLACE, BALWYN SKYRAIDERS!" A deafening cheer went up, and my team started screaming. As we went up, to get our trophy I felt so overwhelmingly happy. Our whole team was smiling, and to share the amazing feeling of victory with my teammates will always be my favourite memory from doing Duke of Edinburgh.
Biggest challenge from doing the Award:
The biggest challenge of the award was coming to terms with my own waste, and trying to be a better person. For my volunteering, I volunteered at a Community Opportunity Shop, where they donated the profits to homeless people. While I volunteered there, I saw how much people wasted. Those who had enough money would come in with huge bags of clothes, most of them good clothes, only donated because they were "out of season." On the flip side there were those who could barely afford the second hand clothes, and found it hard to keep warm during winter, because they didn't have enough money for warm clothes. When being confronted with all this waste, I had to do some self-reflection. Looking at my own clothing habits, I would often go buy so many clothes, clothes that I didn't need, and in turn, ended up donating the perfectly good clothes I had. I realised that I was no different from the people who were wasting so many clothes. So, I decided to change. I tried to stop following fast fashion, and started to reuse and repurpose my clothes. It was very hard, and most definitely the biggest challenge I have faced form the award, but it is a challenge I am proud to take on.
Have you continued any of your Award activities? If so, what:
I have not yet finished my award, but when I do, I will most definitely keep going on with my skill, which is reading. Before I started, I had not read a book in 2 years, and it really ignited my passion for reading. I love the way I can visit different worlds, from Hogwarts, to District 12, and I hope to keep doing it forever.
Tell us the story behind your photo:
Wilson's Promontory. We had been walking for an hour, and the walk was getting steeper and steeper. Our whole group had lapsed into silence, our bodies only able to focus on the task of walking, too exhausted to do anything else. Everyone was in a foul mood, waiting for this torture to end. But then, we reached the top of the mountain. There was a collective gasp, as we gazed down on the view. We were gazing down on the most beautiful scene, a whole 360 of Wilsons Promontory. There was a sprawling beach and lapping waves on side, and tall craggy mountains on the other. Everywhere around us, there was natural beauty, a wild lush forest, and a crisp breeze caressing our cheeks. In that moment, everything was worth it. Our aching legs, the blisters on our feet, and our muddy clothes did not matter. Because in the end, we had gotten this once in a lifetime view. That day, I learnt a valuable lesson. The harder you work, the better the reward. Whenever I feel unmotivated, or want to give up, I always reminisce on that hike, and feel inspired.
Award Role: