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Schoolgirl scoops role model award despite hair-dye disaster
8:00am Thursday 21st March 2013 in News
Buy this photo » Xanetia Huxley-Newell. Buy photo: 121335L
A STOURBRIDGE schoolgirl has been named a young role model for battling through adversity - despite almost being banned from the awards ceremony over a hair-dying disaster.
Xanetia Huxley-Newell, a pupil at Pedmore Technology College, was presented with a Role Model Award at Stourbridge Educational Trust’s prestigious Night of Champions event last night (Wednesday).
The 13-year-old, from Worton Road, collected the award from Wendy Fryatt from Black Country Foodbank at the Stourbridge Town Hall bash which honoured high-achieving pupils from Ridgewood High, Redhill School, Thorns Community College, Pedmore Technology College, Stourbridge College and King Edward VI College.
But the teenager, a promising athlete who has won numerous medals for running despite only having one kidney, nearly missed out on her moment in the spotlight after dying her hair blue just days before.
Teachers told her she would not be allowed to attend the event unless she re-dyed her hair or wore a head scarf.
She was also kept isolated from her classmates during lessons early in the week - and a school trip to Wales at the weekend also looked in jeopardy because of the blue hair drama.
The youngster’s mum Linda Newell said her naturally fair-haired daughter, who turned brunette to avoid ‘dumb blonde jokes’, had been trying to shade her light roots as the brown colour started to grow out.
Mrs Newell, a waitress who has blue highlights in her dark hair, said: “It wasn’t a vibrant blue - it was quite subtle really.”
The school refused to comment on the matter but Dudley’s cabinet member for children’s services, councillor Tim Crumpton, described the situation as “a bit over the top” and said it “probably should have been sorted out better than this”.
Xanetia’s mum said she knew her daughter had been nominated for an award but was not aware of the nature of the accolade until the News took up the story.
She said she guessed Xanetia may have been selected as she picked up five gold medals at a school sporting meet at The Dell Stadium last summer - shortly after a spell in hospital.
Mrs Newell said: “I felt so proud and I did have a little tear in my eye - as she had been so unwell but did this for the school.”
Despite feeling blue over the hair dye drama, when she realised a top award was at stake Xanetia reached for a darker packet of dye; and, although left with a slightly purple tinge to her short crop, she was in the end given the green light to attend the ceremony.
A dedication in the programme handed out on the evening - congratulated her on her confidence, being there for her peers and her commitment to making it into school despite not feeling well.
Fellow Pedmore Technology College students - Charlotte King and Namra Khayal also picked up top awards at the ceremony.
Charlotte, aged 15, won the overall award for Contribution to Performing Arts for her dedication to the school’s music department and singing club; and Namra, aged 14, a representative of Dudley Youth Council, won the Contribution to School Life award for putting in 110 per cent effort into activities such as the school’s young chef competition and various charity fundraising events.