A love of dancing and cooking is taking two Wairarapa boys all the way to Government House.
Alexander Walsh, 9, and Ben Taylor, 13, have been awarded Frances Clarke Memorial prizes for their special accomplishments: One as a dancer and the other as a cookbook author.
The awards, which recognise the achievements of people with Down Syndrome in the Wellington region, will be presented by the Governor-General at Government House on November 4.
Ben, a Tinui School pupil who launched his own cookbook this year, will share the award for 8-16 year olds with Alexander, a young dancer and performer.
Alexander was nominated by Justine Eldred, who was struck by his outstanding performance in a community dance production she staged last year.
Mrs Eldred said Alexander was a "fearless" dancer.
"He's absolutely fabulous."
"We just needed him in the dance show and he really caught the eye of the reviewer ... he gives to others through his dancing," Ms Eldred said.
Alexander's mother, Heather Walsh, said he has been dancing since he was 4 years old.
"His involvement really comes from meeting Justine at school and seeing the potential. He's always loved watching shows, music and bands, and he'll sit through rehearsals and never get bored. That's what inspired me to get him involved," Mrs Walsh said.
Alexander is a good visual learner, and takes lessons at the South Wairarapa School of Dance every week.
"He loves the musicality of it. He loves the people aspect - the fact he's performing for people."
Ben's mother, Sandy Taylor, said his principal had nominated him for his work on the cookbook and his involvement in sports.
"It's a once in a lifetime thing, probably."
"He's really, really looking forward to getting a cup," Ms Taylor said.