Sheffield scout receives top award and is hailed as an 'inspiration' by Bear Grylls

A devoted Sheffield scout with a rare disease received an award for courage and determination as well as a letter signed by chief scout, Bear Grylls.

Thursday, 30th September 2021, 6:00 am
Kiran lives with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a condition which causes muscle weakness.

Kiran Rowntree, a 13 year old from the 180th Millhouses Scout Group in Sheffield was awarded the Cornwell Scout Badge, one of Scouting’s highest awards.

The badge, awarded to Kiran, who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), recognises devotion to duty together with great courage and endurance.

An accompanying letter, signed by Bear Grylls, said: “Your story is an inspiration, not just to me, but the whole movement. You’re a true Scout and your bravery and courage is an example to us all.

Kiran is one of just five people to have been awarded the Cornwell Scout badge in the last 10 years.

“It sums up all that’s good about what we do – thinking of others, and being at our best. You’re truly one of our shining lights. Feeling proud? You should be. Well done and thank you.”

Kiran is just one of five people to be awarded the badge in the last decade. The award’s name is taken from Jack Cornwell, who showed great bravery and was killed in the Battle of Jutland during the First World War.

Kevin Rowntree, Kiran’s father, said: “I was immensely proud. DMD has a lot of impact and he is always having to work that much harder, often in quite a lot of pain. When you are faced with what might appear to be challenges that are insurmountable that tenacity and can do attitude is important.

"He was diagnosed at age three, and at that point your expectations about what might be possible change. Some of the activities are quite high risk, like working at heights. Kiran has a real ability to flourish and face challenges head on and see what he is capable of rather than what other people think he is capable of.”

The Cornwell Badge is named after Jack Cornwell who was mortally wounded during the Battle of Jutland in 1916, but stayed at his post on the HMS Chester.

Despite living with DMD, a long term physical condition that severely affects Kiran‘s muscles and mobility, he has excelled as a Cub and a Scout and continues to inspire and influence his peers.

Group Scout Leader Jeremy Holmes said “Kiran’s condition is no barrier to him as he joins in with everything that we do, especially summer camps, and he is a shining example to everyone”.

“He shows amazing courage, determination and is a great encouragement for both adults and the other young people in the Scout Troop”.

The badge was awarded on behalf of chief Scout, Bear Grylls, who also signed a letter calling Kiran a 'shining light'.