Highfields Young Sport Leaders celebrate a decade of sporting success

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Team GB volleyball player, Maria Bertelli, was the guest of honour at the tenth annual Sports Leadership Awards evening at Matlock’s Highfields School, a member of the Rural Derbyshire School Sport Partnership.

Over 150 awards were given out to Highfields students and Year 6 Bronze Ambassadors from the SSP Highfields Cluster primary schools including in Matlock, Darley Dale, Elton, Tansley and Winster.

SSP Manager, Janice Price, Management Assistant Eliot Martin-French and SSP Young Sports Apprentices, Andy Brough, James Bates and Sam May, rubbed shoulders with other special guests on Thursday 26th March including Directors of Sporting Futures, Jill Eaton and Jo Pountney; Virginia Bailey and Emma Lax from the Women in Sport Foundation; Derbyshire Dales District Council Sport and Health Development Officer, Becky Bryan; Club Development Officer, Alan McGill; GB Volleyball player coach, Kev Tann; Naomi Jones from the Youth Sport Trust; Derbyshire County Council’s Education Consultant for PE and Sports, Dominic Limb and Dave Savidge from Sports Leaders UK.

The evening commemorated pupils for their involvement in a whole range of projects in the last year, including sport, community and dance leadership programmes, volunteer awards, the Girls Active and Women in Sport projects, Change 4 Life Health Champion event, combat hub, Legacy Leaders event, School Games and the Road to Rio 2016.

As well as award presentations, the evening also celebrated the roles of SSP Young Sports Apprentices, Andy Brough, Sam May and James Bates, who work in primary schools to develop and promote sporting events and activities.

To date more than 13,800 hours have been given by students in years 10 to 13 to volunteer for sports projects at Highfields, and almost 1,200 hours by pupils in years 7 to 9.

SSP Manager, Janice Price said: “Working in partnership with Highfields this year we have continued to try and push the boundaries with sports leadership. Their support at cluster, SSP and County competitions is an essential part of the sporting structure and pathway, without them we wouldn’t be able to deliver such a wide range of sporting activities and they provide such strong and positive role models to their younger peers.”

“Leadership opportunities give young people a real chance to shine in areas where they may not otherwise achieve. Learning new skills, imparting knowledge to others, encouraging and nurturing their peers to be the best they can be. It is a powerful pathway which is itself empowering.”

Highfields PE teacher and SSP School Sport Coordinator, Jayne Allen said: “It is a great honour to be able to facilitate learning for others and to be able to activate talent in leadership and mentor our students to be the best that they can be in leading others.”

Highfields Head Teacher, Eddie Wilkes said: “It is great to be the Head Teacher of a school where so many of our youngsters benefit from the opportunity to develop their leadership skills whilst at the same time, supporting others in our community.

“I would particularly like to pay tribute to Jayne Allen and her team for the energy and enthusiasm they bring to Highfields. Their ability to bring youngsters on board and make a real difference to their lives is a massively positive feature of our school.”