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Reporter receives prize awarded in graduate’s memory

A trainee reporter has been awarded a prize established in memory of a journalism graduate who died suddenly while playing football in 2012.

Darren Joliny graduated with a BA in Journalism from Glasgow Caledonian University in 2011.

Months later, he collapsed and died suddenly while playing football. Doctors said the cause of death was Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS).

The university later established an annual award in his memory for the best-performing student which this year was awarded to 21-year-old Hayley Parr.

Hayley, from Perth, graduated with first class honours in Multimedia Journalism and is now a reporter on the Dunfermline Press.

She said: “Although I never met Darren, I’ve heard so much about him and I am honoured to get this award in his name. It was lovely to meet Darren’s family at the ceremony and to speak of his great character.

“The course at GCU has been fantastic and I was able to enhance it with work placements. I had spells at the Independent in London, the Sunday Post in Glasgow and the Dundee Evening Telegraph.

“I’ve been at the Dunfermline Press for two months. I’ve covered everything from court to health to education. Having the degree behind me has been a massive help. The multimedia element of the programme has prepared me to experience something different each day.”

Hayley is pictured receiving the award from Darren’s uncle, East Kilbride MP Michael McCann.

He said: “I want to thank GCU for instituting this award in Darren’s name. It is a rare thing for someone so young to have an award named after them. Darren was popular with students and staff alike and he was always encouraging to others. He lived life to the full and he always seized the day, just like Hayley. She is thoroughly deserving of this award.”

Ben McConville, Head of Social Sciences, Media and Journalism, said: “We are grateful to Darren’s family and his uncle Mr McCann for their support of this fitting memorial.

“Our congratulations go to Hayley, who did superbly well on the Multimedia Journalism programme. We wish her all the best in her career.”