Olympic gold medallists present awards at Sky Sports Living for Sport ceremony
Stars from the athletics world came together with other sporting icons on Friday to celebrate another successful year of the Sky Sports Living for Sport initiative.
Olympic heptathlon champion Jess Ennis and Olympic gold-medallist sprinter Darren Campbell presented awards to student and teacher finalists at a ceremony held at the Sky Studios in London.
Sky Sports Living for Sport is an initiative delivered in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust which uses sport stars and sport skills to improve the lives of young people in secondary schools across the UK.
The awards recognise the efforts of students and teachers, with Bedfordshire-based student Wayne Instrell of Bedford Academy crowned the Sky Sports Living for Sport Student of the Year for 2012 and Leicestershire-based PE teacher Lesley Reynolds of Brockington College in Enderby named the Sky Sports Living for Sport Teacher of the Year.
Speaking at the ceremony, Ennis, who is a Sky Sports Living for Sport Ambassador, said: “It’s fantastic to see how much of an impact Sky Sports Living for Sport is having on young people throughout the UK and how their attitudes can be shifted towards both sport and education through their involvement.”
With nominations rolling in from 1500 schools across the UK, Wayne’s story was deemed a worthy winner as it demonstrated how he has overcome the adversity of bullying and personal loss to regain his confidence using the power of sport. Participating in Sky Sports Living for Sport projects has helped him build his life skills and apply the lessons learnt through sport to situations in school and everyday life.
As the UK’s overall winner, Wayne will receive a £100 sports voucher, an extra visit from an Athlete Mentor and £2,000 towards their school’s next Sky Sports Living for Sport project.
Ennis’ fellow Ambassador Campbell added: “It’s great to hear how pupils’ attitudes towards both sport and education have shifted and to see how teachers are helping them to practice the skills that they have learnt which will help them to succeed in the future.
“My heartfelt congratulations to Wayne and Lesley, their stories are fantastic example of the power of sport to change lives.”
It was revealed earlier this week how Campbell’s mentor role may not only extend to working with students through schemes such as Sky Sports’ Living for Sport initiative, but also to him working with elite athletics stars, playing a part in UK Athletics’ future relay plans.
Speaking at a conference on Tuesday, UKA’s performance director Neil Black discussed the intention of bringing in Campbell, as well as two other members of the 2004 gold medal-winning 4x100m quartet Jason Gardener and Marlon Devonish, to support the GB relay programmes.
“They have put in a huge contribution through competition over time,” said Black of the three sprinters. “They are giving up their time and their energy to support us going forward and we feel really positive about that.”
On Friday Campbell said he could not reveal anything further on his involvement, but confirmed that discussions had been had.
“I can’t really shed too much light on that at this moment in time,” he said. “I had offered my services free of charge before London [Olympics] and after Daegu [World Championships], to which nothing had happened, so I don’t know what’s going to happen now.
“I’ll always mentor for free, you can ask any athlete that, I’ll always give advice. If conversations need to be had with the current squad or anything like that then I’m happy to do that, but let’s watch this space.
“We all went through a fantastic journey, myself, Marlon and Jason, so maybe something can be worked out.”
» You can find more information on the Sky Sports Living for Sport initiative here