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Schools celebrate sporting success at glitzy awards ceremony
Monday 24th July 2017 @ 16:57 by Mark Phillip

Teachers and pupils from over 40 schools attended the first ever Inspire Tameside Sports Awards last week.

The event took place at the Village Hotel in Ashton and was held to celebrate an extremely successful year in terms of sporting success in Tameside.

Attendees were treated to a drinks reception and even had the chance to mingle with the guests of honour, which included Great Britain triathlete Georgia Taylor-Brown and retired gymnast Beth Tweddle.

In conjunction with Vision for Education, the ceremony brought schools together at the end of the year to celebrate all that is great about PE, sport and health.

A number of awards were handed out on the day, including Success in Competition, Healthy Active Lifestyles, Innovation in PE and School of the Year.

Russell Scott Primary School, from Denton, has enjoyed another successful year when it comes to sport, thanks in no small part to the contributions from teachers Darran Gorman, Rachel Burke and Stephen Scott.

The trio were joined at the ceremony by two of their pupils and head teacher, Steve Marsland.

Russell Scott

Russell Scott’s endeavours throughout the year were rewarded with the Success in Competition award, while Alder Community College scooped the same accolade in the secondary school category.

Hollingworth Primary School was highly commended in the same category.

Elsewhere, Waterloo Primary School won the Healthy Active Lifestyle award, while St John Fisher RC Primary and Moorside Primary were highly commended in the same category.

Under the guidance of Ernie Greenwood, Samuel Laycock pupils have been given the chance to not only experience sport throughout the year, but excel in their chosen fields as well.

In light of his commitment to pupils – not only during this academic year but during his entire duration at the school – Ernie was highly commended in the Special Recognition category.

He was joined by Nick Fitton, from St Christopher’s RC Primary, and Jim Dolan, from Hyde Community College, who were both specially recognised as well.

Reflecting on the event, Emma Toone, partnership development manager, told Reporter Sport: “We wanted schools to be acknowledged for the fantastic work they do for pupils- giving them opportunities to participate, have fun and compete in school competition, sport, high quality PE & health related activity.

St John Fisher picked up a number of awards

“We think Tameside is full of special teachers and schools that are completely focused on ensuring pupils are given the best start in their sporting life.

“It was great to see so many schools support this event- we had over 40 schools receiving awards.

“I’d also like to mention to the two schools winning the prestigious school of the year award – Greenside Primary and St Thomas More RC Science College, and also to our three recipients of the outstanding contribution to PE & sport – Jim Dolan, Nick Fitton & Ernie Greenwood, who between them have nearly 100 years’ service in Tameside schools.”

Winners on the day were presented with their awards by Georgia and Beth, who both attended the event in order to inspire the next generation.

Beth Tweddle

The latter, who was the first female gymnast from Great Britain to win a medal at the European Championships, World Championships, and Olympic Games, said: “Obviously the schools have worked really hard throughout the year with their PE, so I just wanted to come down and say well done to the schools and the pupils for all the hard effort that they’ve put into their PE this year.”

Commenting on her commitment to schools in the borough, Beth said: “For me there is two different things: One is for me to go in and inspire the children, kind of making them believe that they can achieve what they want to achieve.

“Every child has got a goal and a dream – it doesn’t matter how big or how small it is; I want to help them realise that dream.

“With my company, Total Gymnastics, I’m really passionate about getting children to have a go at gymnastics.

“If they try it and they love it, then great, but if they try it and think ‘that’s nor for me’, then that’s great as well.

“If you don’t try something you’ll never know if you like it, and also whether you’re any good at it.”

Georgia echoed Beth’s thoughts, citing the encouragement her schools provided as a major influence in her current success: “The big thing for me was schools and their commitment to me and their push to help me get into sport” said Georgia, a former Ashton Sixth Form student.

“Their support really helped to drive me and get me to where I am today.”

Having suffered a serious injury which ruled her out of competitive action for two years, Georgia knows all-too-well the struggles life can throw at you.

Despite this, the 23-year-old is on course to make waves in the future.

Questioned on whether she ever envisioned being this successful when initially starting the sport, Georgia said ‘No’, while adding: “You dream of it and you want to be up there with the top performers.

“You watch the girls competing in the World Series and World Champs, and I always dreamed that I’d like to be there one day, but I’ve still got a long way to go to be up with them.”

Here is a list of all the awards handed out on the day: