The Malta Independent 20 September 2020, Sunday

Queen Elizabeth II recognises Neil Agius for his environmental advocacy

Friday, 7 August 2020, 16:38 Last update: about 2 months ago

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has recognised Maltese swimmer Neil Agius, representing Malta, as the 151st Commonwealth Point of Light in honour of his exceptional voluntary service advocating plastic-free seas.

Back in June, Agius completed the epic 95km swim between Sicily and Malta, where he became the second person in recorded history to swim between Sicily and Malta. He arrived in Malta at 9:21am after swimming for 28 hours, seven minutes and 27 seconds.

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Agius is also the co-founder of The Wave of Change movement, which empowers people to take the necessary action to reduce their waste.

Agius believes that his “speedy diplomacy” will help support “Wave of Change”, inspiring young people to take action in their everyday life to reduce plastic waste and become “Wavemakers”.

As part of the legacy of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London 2018, Her Majesty The Queen, as Head of the Commonwealth, is thanking inspirational volunteers across the 54 Commonwealth nations for the difference they are making in their communities and beyond, by recognising one volunteer from each Commonwealth country every week.

By sharing these stories of service, the Commonwealth Points of Light awards celebrate inspirational acts of volunteering across the Commonwealth and help inspire others to make their own contribution to tackling some of the greatest social challenges of our time.

“I am really honoured to receive this award,” Agius said. “It is a great feeling that I can inspire so many to make changes to the way they treat mother earth. There is no planet B so we really need to respect it, once we can learn to do that then we will be able to enjoy it as its full potential and glory.”

The UK High Commissioner in Malta, Stuart Gill OBE said that he was pleased to recognise Agius as this year’s Commonwealth point of Light Award. “Neil is an example of the dedication and determination in his fight against climate change and environment-related issues. Swimming to Malta in record-breaking 28 hours should serve as an inspiration for others to be the change for a better world.”

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