Introducing our Learner of the Year 2020 Regional Winners and National Winner
The Sports Leaders Learner of the Year award celebrates the achievements and progress made by learners throughout their Sports Leaders course. Nominations for the 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.
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.
From these four regional winners, our overal national winner was then selected - read on to find out more, including who claimed the overall award.
Here’s the run-down on our winners for 2020: -
National Winner and Area 1 (South West, West Midlands, Wales & Overseas)
Winner: Anna Skuse, Truro, Cornwall
By taking her Sports Leadership course during Year 10, Anna has seen her self-confidence and teamwork grow as a result of being taken out of her comfort zone and taking on new challenges. By taking on responsibilities such as organising a primary schools’ sports day and her own school’s netball tournament, Anna has developed her organisation and self-management skills to the point where she secured the position of head girl within her school and was voted as house captain, recognised her status as a role model to her peers.
Anna plans to continue giving back to the school and her community as a result of her course and is looking forward to the future, including becoming a surf coach for children and adults. She says: “Without the Sports Leaders course I would never have the communication skills and self-belief to do these things.
“I absolutely love sport and this course has empowered me to spread my passion. I feel like I’ve come a really long way and have the Sports Leadership Level 2 award to thank for that.”
The selection panel chose Anna as the national winner of this year’s awards primarily for the way in which she has grown as a student and and individual, being an outstanding example of the way that Sports Leaders build their skills and create a platform for success in the future.
She has become a real example for her fellow pupils and an inspiration to members of her community - congratulations Anna!
Area 2 (East, London & South East)
Winner: Mohamed Jeng, Camberwell, South London
Mohamed has demonstrated a particular passion and enthusiasm for volunteering with his local primary and working with younger children, encouraging them to overcome their own personal boundaries that they may have struggled with on their own. This is something that he is particularly devoted to, drawing on his own experience of overcoming disability to volunteer and participate in sport.
He has demonstrated a genuine aptitude to help others by volunteering at his local sports club and facilitating activities for others, something for which he was awarded the Young Sports Leader of the Year in his school. Mohamed has developed his skills hugely as a result of completing his Sports Leaders course in Year 11, particularly his communication and self-belief.
Area 3 (East Midlands, Yorkshire & Humberside)
Winner: Holly Carr, Matlock, Derbyshire
When she started her Sports Leaders journey in Year 9 as a Level 1 learner, Holly was shy and lacking in confidence. As she has progress to Level 3, her self-belief has grown and now she runs assemblies, hosts events and is a member of her local Voice of Sport community, as well as winning the Derbyshire Sport Leader of the Year Award.
Her outstanding achievements include organising lunchtime football sessions for Year 9 and attending a Youth Sport Trust activity camp to learn about barriers to sport and how to break these down - this has even led to her travelling to Bahrain to attend an event focusing on encouraging sport engagement, something which has inspired her for the future.
Looking back on her journey, Holly can see clearly the progression she has made. She says: “By the end of Level 2, the change in me and the confidence this has brought on was absolutely amazing to me.
“Sports leadership has been my passion for sport and this course has made my goal of increasing participation in sport more possible. Sports Leaders has given me much more than qualifications - it’s given me a goal and a motivation to achieve it.”
Area 4 (North East, North West, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland & Scotland)
Winner: Paige McGarrity, Glasgow
Paige began volunteering in sports before she started her course, but felt she was lacking in confidence, particularly in helping younger children, which meant that she found it hard to deliver sessions.
By working on her leadership skills and becoming more aware of fo different teaching and planning styles, as well as taking on varied volunteering opportunities with different groups, both in sport and dance, Paige’s confidence has grown steadily and she now has confidence in ability to follow a career path in teaching and engaging children to take part in sport.
In the future she plans to continue using the skills that she has developed throughout the course, but particularly planning and problem solving, which were her favourite elements of the programme. Paige is a great example of how learners can grow as individuals and hone their skills, just by becoming more confident in their abilities and taking on new challenges.