Introducing our Learner of the Year 2019 Regional Winners

The Sports Leaders Learner of the Year award celebrates the achievements and progress made by learners throughout their Sports Leaders course. Nominations for the inaugural Learner of the Year were made earlier this year, with entrants receiving recommendation from their tutors alongside personal entry videos.

From these nominations, our award selection panel chose a number of finalists and regional winners in each of our four geographic areas and ultimately our overall national winner.

On Friday 4th October 2019, we announced our national winner: Emma Barton from Boroughmuir  High School in Edinburgh - congratulations Emma! Although all the finalists and regional winners were exceptional this year, Emma’s entry was chosen due to her work in activating a variety of age and social groups, while her nomination and entry video perfectly demonstrated the scale of her journey in developing the five skills.

You can read more about Emma's succes and the reasons for the judging panel selecting her here

Our four area winners were selected based on their demonstration of going above and beyond what is expected of them to realise their potential, showcasing what their personal development means to them and the steps they have taken to use the skills they have developed for the benefit of their communities in a positive way.

Here’s our four area winners with their personal videos that accompanied their entries.

Area 1 (South West, West Midlands, Wales & Overseas)
Winner: Olivia Dark, Bournemouth
Sports Leaders qualification: Level 2 Qualification in Sports Leadership

Olivia is a passionate and active netball player and coach who has developed immensely as a result of completing her Level 2 award. Having blossomed in many areas, she has gained the confidence to communicate with many different people, ranging from Year 4 pupils and their teachers to coaches, umpires and parents at the county netball tournament she played a key role in organising.

Outside of school, Olivia coaches Year 4 pupils at a local primary school once a week, helping them in a variety of sports as well as volunteering at her local netball club, helping coach younger players. She has also volunteered on numerous occasions, assisting with sports events and standing to be house captain for her school house, which will see her leading on a variety of activities.

 Area 2 (East, London & South East)
Winner: Maidah Omar Suufi, East London
Sports Leaders qualification: Level 3 Qualification in Sports Leadership

Throughout her course, Maidah has shown a huge appetite for helping others, demonstrating immense kindness, allied to genuine purpose in her action. She has developed excellent self-belief as a result of her commitment to helping provide the best possible learning experience for young people and others, showing the ability to step into a major leadership role or working in support of others as part of an effective leadership team.

Thanks to her high levels of awareness for the needs of others, she is quick to implement change with impact and direction that leaves the young people she leads in no doubt of their direction.

Showing passion and commitment to her community, Maidah has volunteered at a variety of events, activities and sports day connected to her local schools, bringing energy and enthusiasm to her work, which in turn passes on to those taking part.

Area 3 (East Midlands, Yorkshire & Humberside)
Winner: Harry Rudkin, Matlock
Sports Leaders qualifications: Level 1, 2 and 3 Qualifications in Sports Leadership

Throughout his courses, Harry has proved to be a leader of excellence for both staff and other learners. He communicates in a professional and very passionate manner, providing leadership and inspiration to others. Thanks to developing his skills in this way, Harry has progressed to taking on his level 2 coaching qualification in cricket as well as leading a team of officials in both football and cricket for local finals.

Harry has set the bar high as a role model and ambassador for sports leadership at his school, offering football and cricket mentorship for young leaders. He has led a team of cricket officials to a high standard, including delivering instructions to staff at team briefings for the School Games organiser and has led on assemblies promoting leadership and a healthy lifestyle. Harry is also a member of the school’s Voice for Sport group, which meets monthly to enrich and extend the opportunities for sport in school.

Away from school, he is actively involved in his local cricket club and has volunteered hours of time in support of matches, practice and other activities.

Area 4 (North East, North West, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland & Scotland)
Winner: Emma Barton, Edinburgh
Sports Leaders qualifications: SCQF Level 6 Qualification in Sports Leadership

Prior to starting her course, Emma’s core skills of communication, self-belief, teamwork, self-management and problem solving were preventing her from achieving her full potential. However, throughout her course she has developed these areas significantly, adapting rapidly and taking every challenge in her stride, providing motivation and inspiration to her peers, staff at the school and the wider community.

By stepping out of her comfort zone and learning new activities – including tennis and team sports – Emma has developed and demonstrated her flexibility, honesty, respect and enthusiasm, regardless of the project she has been leading or been a part of. As she has progressed through her course, her confidence has steadily grown, to the point where she recently present her school’s Sports Personality evening, speaking in front of 360 parents/careers and staff, demonstrating excellent preparation and an aptitude for taking on advice.

Emma’s enthusiasm and energy has a significant impact on her community, where she has mentored a group of 10 of her peers to deliver Active Girls day, encouraging 120 girls to get moving with dance and Zumba, something she has also taken to the wider community by leading an intergenerational project for elderly people.

All nominees of the award will receive a certificate and be entered into the prize draw to win a £50 Amazon voucher. The draw will take place on the 4th October 2019. 

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