A STUDENT from Oxford who called for education on diversity and racism to be added to the school curriculum has pipped a footballer to an award.

In the aftermath of the George Floyd protests last summer, Cynthia Muthoni created a petition stating that classes about racism and diversity should be mandatory.

Now, the 23-year-old has beaten Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford to a campaign award.

Miss Muthoni has been named alongside Nell Bevan, Esmie Jikiemi-Pearson and Yacoub Yasin as the inaugural winners of the Petition Campaign of the Year Award at the Your UK Parliament Awards.

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The four campaigners put forward petitions on the issue of black history and cultural diversity in the national curriculum.

“I poured my heart and soul into the petition – to see it reach a stage where it is not only recognised and selected for debate in Parliament, but also awarded by Parliament, fills me with so much joy,” said Miss Muthoni.

“Congratulations to everyone who ever championed racial equality and education on anti-racism, this is a great moment for us.

“But, there is still more work to be done.

“We need to see real legislative changes that acknowledge, address and abolish racism within the country.”

Cynthia Muthoni has beaten footballer Marcus Rashford to an award

Cynthia Muthoni has beaten footballer Marcus Rashford to an award

Miss Muthoni, a student at the University of East Anglia, submitted the petition to Parliament, with it attracting 89,497 signatures in the six months it was live.

England forward Mr Rashford was nominated for his campaign on child food poverty, which gained more than a million signatures.

The campaign led to a Government U-turn, to extend free school meals during school holidays.

Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford. Picture: PA

Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford. Picture: PA

Meanwhile, Miss Muthoni said the George Floyd protests were the catalyst for her creating her petition, as she considered how to build on the awareness that was being raised by the protests.

Catherine McKinnell, chair of the Petitions Committee, said: “My heartfelt congratulations go out to these petitioners for their incredible campaign.

“The entire Petitions Committee was impressed by their organisation, determination and passion, and our scrutiny of the Government on this issue has been strengthened as a result.

“This campaign is a testament to the power of petitions to raise awareness of issues that might otherwise struggle to be heard in Parliament.”

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Winners will receive a commemorative trophy while all nominees will receive a certificate to celebrate their achievements.

The Petitions Committee was set up to look at e-petitions and public petitions.

The committee puts forward petitions for debate in the House of Commons, and can ask another parliamentary committee to look into a topic raised by a petition.