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With nominations for Sports Leaders’ 2020 Learner of the Year Awards now open, it’s the perfect opportunity to take a look back at 2019’s winner, Emma Barton, and her learner journey.
The Sports Leaders Learner of the Year Award provides an opportunity to recognise the outstanding achievements and incredible progress made by the young people taking on Qualifications and Awards in Leadership across the UK.
In October 2019, Emma, from Boroughmuir High school, was awarded Learner of the Year having gone above and beyond to develop her own skills and become a force for good among her peers, encouraging others to take part in community activities, projects or volunteering events while also furthering her own abilities.
Emma has written about her journey of completing a Level 6 qualification in Sports Leadership and how she feels it has contributed to her own skill development. She continues to be an inspiration to her peers and the wider community.
“Before starting the Sports Leaders course I wanted to feel confident when delivering instructions to others, make participants feel encouraged and to see improvements in their ability, reaching their full potential as well as them enjoying the activity I deliver.
“I wanted to develop my teamwork skills and ensure suitable ideas are always considered to create the best possible activities. I wanted to enjoy leading others and for them to be engaged in what I was doing. I believe these skills would be really important for me to get into college and employment in the future. The course gave me the opportunity to learn practically whilst gaining valuable experience across all of these skills.
“Throughout my learning I saw how the practical nature of the course helped my skill development which then built excitement and confidence with the pupils and community I worked with. I feel my confidence as a leader has greatly improved and I managed to engage the pupils more and more throughout the course which allowed me to explore a wide variety of aspects of leadership qualities and experiences.
“Throughout my journey I took the opportunity to work with a variety of community groups including primary children, elderly, my peers and younger high school pupils both in school and in a community setting. Although I had to do 10 voluntary hours as part of the course, I enjoyed it so much I completed over 100 hours of volunteering throughout my journey. This experience excelled my confidence and grew my own self belief in my abilities. I can now direct and lead others successfully meaning that I can effectively engage with many parts of society helping people in multiple aspects of life. I am proud to have achieved such development in my skills, I strongly believe that taking the opportunity to complete the course has had a lasting impact on my life and those I have taught or helped.
“I faced several challenges along my journey and the biggest was trying to ensure all pupils were engaged and lead in a way suitable specifically for them. The course and experience taught me that many people learn and develop differently therefore through researching various leadership styles and methods I was able to connect with all participants to ensure they could all develop and enjoy the activities the best they could.
“I feel this course has allowed me to develop more skills than imagined as I have seen the heartwarming, inspiring improvements on all participants I have led throughout this year. I know that all these experiences and skills will follow me throughout my life as I continue to work with others and teach them in many aspects of sport, education and life. I thoroughly enjoyed this course I am so please with my progression.”
Emma was mentored throughout the course by her PE teacher Mr Else who provided the following quote regarding her journey.
“Emma has developed massively throughout the course. At the start of the course, Emma’s core skills of communication, self belief, team work, self management and problem solving were not allowing her to reach her full potential - but she has taken all of these to another level.
“As the year has progressed, she has adapted and taken every challenge in her stride and has motivated and inspired both young people/children, staff at the school and the wider community. It has been a complete joy to see her grow and develop and I feel honoured to have taught her.
“Another big development has been Emma's ability to work and lead as part of team. She has been able to adapt and learn new activities (tennis and team sports) which have been out with her comfort zone. She has demonstrated and developed excellent flexibility, honesty, respect and enthusiasm regardless of what project she has been leading or been a part of. This has in turn hugely impacted the rest of the learners on the course, as well as the young people/ children and the wider community of Boroughmuir High School.
“I have been a teacher for 10 years and a head of department in 2 schools and it is rare that you come across a young person who has impacted the staff, the school, pupils and wider community.
“Emma's skills have developed so much this year. I have so much confidence in her that she presented at our end of school Sports Personality evening infront of 350+ parents, staff and pupils.”
Nominations for this year’s Learner of the Year Awards are now open – find out more, including how to nominate your learners, here.
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