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The winning students of ‘Young Geographer of the Year’, a competition to encourage pupils to engage with geographical issues, are announced today by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG). Each year, the competition receives entries from hundreds of pupils from schools in the UK and internationally. This year’s competition was an opportunity for students to explore the question ‘Where, how and why?’ by asking young people where they want to travel to, how they would get there, and why they want to travel there.

Professor Joe Smith, Director of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), said: “We were extremely impressed by the overwhelming quality of entries to this year’s competition, with hundreds of pupils taking part from across the UK and beyond. We were looking for – and found – original entries showing how sustainability was at the forefront of our entrants’ minds when thinking about travel today. Understanding environmental change but also connecting to others whether near or far were consistent themes.

“Geography plays a crucial role in our understanding of place and space, and we’re delighted to see so many submissions cleverly reflect how travelling with purpose can enrich our lives and help us to better understand the world by widening our geographical horizons. The standard was exceptionally high, and the work was produced in a thoughtful and knowledgeable way. Congratulations to the winners and all who took part. We know that they all have bright geographical futures ahead.”

Young Geographer of the Year recognises the best entries across four categories: Key Stage 2 (pupils aged 9-11); Key Stage 3 (11-14); Key Stage 4 or GCSE (14-16); and Key Stage 5 or A Level (16-18). Pupils in the first three categories were asked to submit an annotated diagram or poster, while A Level pupils were asked to create an Esri UK StoryMap containing a maximum of 1,500 words.

Professor Joe Smith also judged the Key Stage 5 category. He said of the winning entry: “In a very competitive field this piece on Iceland made very smart use of the potential held in the software, including integration of the survey tool. The reader is taught concepts but by stealth. The evident enthusiasm for geography and the charisma of Iceland as a place springs from the screen.”

The winning and highly commended pupils were awarded their certificates at a ceremony held at the Society on Friday 25 November. Each have been presented with a certificate and a bag of geographical prizes.

The category winners are:

  • 9-11 years: Aryan Shekar

  • 11-14 years: Tomohiro Oxborrow

  • 14-16 years: Esther Morris

  • 16-18 years: Boe Kilshaw

The Young Geographer of the Year competition is run by the Society in conjunction with Geographical magazine and is kindly supported by Cotswold Outdoor, Esri UK, Ordnance Survey and Philip’s Atlases.



Notes to editor

  • For further media enquiries, images and interview requests, please contact Lucy Preston, the Society’s Press Officer, at or +44 (0)77 1478 3126.

  • Image captions:

    • Key Stage 2 Winner - Aryan Shekar

    • Key Stage 3 Winner - Tomohiro Oxborrow

    • Key Stage 4 Winner - Esther Morris

    • Key Stage 5 Winner - Boe Kilshaw

  • The Royal Geographical Society (with The Institute of British Geographers) is the learned society and professional body for geography. Formed in 1830, our Royal Charter of 1859 is for 'the advancement of geographical science'. Today, we deliver this objective through developing, supporting and promoting geographical research, expeditions and fieldwork, education, public engagement, and geography input to policy. We aim to foster an understanding and informed enjoyment of our world. We hold the world's largest private geographical collection and provide public access to it. We have a thriving Fellowship and membership and offer the professional accreditation 'Chartered Geographer’.

  • Young Geographer of the Year is run by The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) and Geographical Magazine. The competition began in 2000 and has become a regular feature on many schools' calendars. The competition is open to young geographers throughout the UK and across the world under the age of 19 years. The prizes were kindly sponsored by Esri UK, Ordnance Survey, Philip’s and Cotswold Outdoor.

  • Winning and highly commended entries to Young Geographer of the Year 2022 can be viewed at

  • A full list of the winners and their entries can be found here: