Winner Gene is driven by design

A teenager with designs on the future has won a national competition devised as a lockdown project for schools across the country.

Gene Pepler, aged 13 of Blakedown, plans on doing more designing in the future after being named as one of seven winners
Gene Pepler, aged 13 of Blakedown, plans on doing more designing in the future after being named as one of seven winners

Gene Pepler, aged 13, from Blakedown, who is a pupil at Haybridge High School at Hagley, has been named as one of only seven winners in the competition entitled Driven by Design, launched by the car dealership Sytner Group.

His prizes have included an iPad and a VIP tour of the Guy Salmon Land Rover Coventry base where he met managing director Alex Scott and also received a goodie bag from Jaguar Land Rover.

Gene was the winner from the Midlands, Wales and the South West with his futuristic design of a modular passenger vehicle and his slogan “When The Tough Need Tougher”.

He said: “I am really surprised to have been chosen as one of the winners of the competition. I love designing and hope to do more in the future.”

Mother-of-three Hayley Pepler, aged 43, said her son had always shown an interest in boats, planes and cars and in making things since he was a toddler.

She said: “He is absolutely bowled over to have been named as one of the winners of the competition. He had to design a vehicle for the future and create a marketing scheme with logo and tag-line.

“It was aimed as a lockdown learning task for schools for secondary school children aged from 11 to 16-years-old.

“Gene’s entry was a modular design with bits which could be added or taken off and could become a submarine and a passenger vehicle.

“When he visited the Sytner base at Coventry he was treated to a VIP tour and saw where cars were prepared and how different colours are designed.

"He really enjoyed the visit and has now chosen product design and engineering as two of his options for GCSE studies.”

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