On Friday 19th November, Code Ninjas franchisees from around the world came together to virtually celebrate a 2021 jam-packed with achievements. During the annual NinjaCon awards ceremony, hundreds of delegates from across the US, Canada and the UK ‘logged on’ to share in their successes with others. In line with the celebratory theme, two important people from within the UK network were commended for their commitment to the Code Ninjas programme – with Tim Craig at Code Ninjas Newbury winning ‘Sensei of the Year’ and Lucas Filippini from Code Ninjas Watford being named ‘Super Ninja’.
Both Tim and Lucas were recognised for their dedication to Code Ninjas and their positive can-do attitudes when both in and out of the coding dojo.
Nine-year-old Lucas was chosen out of hundreds of ninjas – the name given to Code Ninjas students – at over 25 locations around the UK. Dipa Shah, co-owner of the Watford centre that Lucas has been attending for more than a year, nominated Lucas for the award. She is proud of his achievements and the energy he brings to the dojo to inspire other kids to love all things coding.
“Despite the challenges caused by the pandemic, home-schooling and lockdowns, Lucas has maintained his energy and spirit, and his presence is felt in the dojo by all of his fellow ninjas and our Code SenseisÔ – the name given to our teachers – too,” said Dipa. “He’s always up for trying new programmes out, helping other ninjas and even getting our Senseis involved in his own challenges! Currently an orange belt, Lucas is a very determined ninja – we look forward to seeing him progress and continuing to challenge our Senseis. But most importantly, Lucas is a real testament to the Code Ninjas culture – it’s great to know that talented and high-spirited people like Lucas are going to be the future of this country.”
Lucas will be awarded an Oculus Quest 2 wireless VR headset, amongst other Code Ninjas branded goodies, to congratulate him for a job well done during his first year as a ninja and encourage him to keep trying new things in the world of coding.
This year’s Sensei of the Year award has been awarded to Tim at Code Ninjas Newbury. Despite the fact that the location opened less than 12 months ago, Tim has made quite the impression on his loyal ninjas – and that hasn’t gone unnoticed by the owner of the business, Marcus Brind.
“Tim has worked tirelessly to bring our location onboard and make it the success it is. He has developed the curriculum for classroom sessions for our junior students and has stepped up and run a number of our camps. He often steps in and covers shifts for other Senseis and is a sounding board for best practice within our dojo. I’m so proud that he has been recognised for his hard work and for the positive attitude he brings with him into the studio every single day. He’s a credit to our team and I know he will go on to do great things,” explained Marcus.
Tim, who will receive a scholarship worth over £550 to award him for his efforts, is a budding coder and passionate about all things STEM. He was overwhelmed to hear the good news during the virtual presentation.
“It felt amazing to have been recognised on an international scale and to be celebrated by the thousands of people in the Code Ninjas network. What made it even more special for me was that some of our ninjas were in the studio when I was given the good news! I’m so proud to have made such an impact on our ninjas – it is because of them and my love for inspiring their passion for coding that makes me work as hard as I do. Working part-time at Code Ninjas brings me so much happiness, alongside my other job as a carer in the local community. This has been a real career highlight and something I’ll never forget,” said Tim.
With the last two NinjaCon award ceremonies taking place virtually, the network is very much looking forward to coming together in person in 2022 and celebrating the achievements of the amazing people – like Lucas and Tim – that make Code Ninjas what it is today. Justin Nihiser, CEO, took great pride in recognising the networks’ collective efforts over the course of the last year.
“At Code Ninjas, we put a great deal of emphasis on stopping to take stock of what it is that we have achieved in relation to our strategic targets. In terms of the UK market, we have successfully made our expansions goals and that is down to the ongoing commitment of natural born leaders like Lucas and Tim. It’s great to see such passion from our Code Ninjas family on the other side of the Atlantic and I can’t wait to see what it is they go on to achieve in the future,” said Justin.