AoC Sport Awards recognise achievements during pandemic

The 2021 Sport Awards were once again affected by the pandemic, but we were delighted that three categories could be awarded.

These were announced on the AoC Sport Instagram account by Team GB and Olympic long jumper Abigail Irozuru. The categories were Inspirational Student of the Year, Student Volunteer of the Year and two Hall of Fame Awards.

Inspirational student of the year winner

Vicky Newport -SGS College

Vicky is a great example of a student who has overcome difficulties in the past to excel in all aspects of her life.

Her love of coaching was sparked while on a work experience placement as part of her health and social care course and she went on to do a degree in Fast Track Sports Coaching.

Whilst on the degree she also joined the college Netball Academy. This allowed her to not only play the sport she loves, but also get involved with coaching and put her degree into practice. As the oldest member of the Academy, Vicky became a role model for the others who looked up to her and respected the journey she has been on.

During the initial lockdown she did fitness sessions on her street for her neighbours, which made the local news, and she continued to deliver her own online fitness sessions via Zoom for her community and college staff.

Vicky became more involved with the netball academy and she made such an impression that she has been offered a coaching position to cover maternity leave. Her experience at college has also led to her becoming part of the coaching team with the Avon Netball Performance Pathway.

Highly Commended

Collins Augustine – Leicester College

Aimee Johnson – Burnley College

William Garner – Hills Road Sixth Form College

Student volunteer of the year winner

Shannon Mansfield – Stoke-on-Trent College

Shannon is a level 2 Childcare student and despite having no prior interest in sport, has shown an amazing amount of commitment and enthusiasm in taking part, regularly giving up five hours per week. She has encouraged learners who do not usually engage in sporting activities and made them feel comfortable and at ease no matter what their level of ability.

As an AoC Mental Health Ambassador, Shannon has actively promoted physical activity through word of mouth and social media posts, which included creating a short film during lockdown encouraging learners to go for walks regularly to keep them healthy and support their mental wellbeing. She also took a leading role during the college’s mental health awareness week.

Shannon has taken a leading role in community projects as part of the college’s peer mentor team and has worked hard to ensure she is on top of her course and is on target to achieve her full qualification this year.

 

Highly Commended

Abbie Breakwell – Loughborough College

Ntokozo (Joy) Dlamini – Loughborough College

Hall of Fame Winner

Matt Jefferson – Furness College

Matt Jefferson is a dedicated tutor and sports enthusiast who has made a significant impact on improving college sports and physical activity in a very short space of time. He started with Furness College two years ago and has guided students and staff not only through programmes when campus was open but he has been dedicated to ensuring everyone stayed active during lockdown.

He ensured Furness College was involved in AoC Sport’s Lunar Challenge, National Championship Lockdown Challenge and Around the World in 30 Days challenge. He led the keepy-up loo roll challenge by example and students also took part in the Sport England Stay in, work out challenge.

Matt has been part of the sport and physical activity sector since 2004 developing activity levels in children, young adults and minority groups. He has teamed up with amateur and professional clubs and county council units across Cumbria to run events and competitions to engage people in sports and activities. He runs sports teams within the college, regular sessions for staff and students during curriculum hours and extra-curricular sessions which run at lunch times and in the evenings.

Hall of Fame Winner

Linda Swain – Hills Road Sixth Form College

Linda has been a key member of the Hills Road Sports Department for the past 14 years and has been instrumental in raising the weekly number of students accessing sport from 450 to over 1000.
In her time Linda has raised over £140,000 worth of sports funding through government sponsorship, NGB grants and private firms. She has been head of netball throughout her time, leading the team to national and regional success.

Linda has also voluntarily worked alongside AoC Sport for the past 11 years as the Vice Chair of the AoC East of England Operations Network.

Outside of college Linda has been the driving force behind netball development in Cambridgeshire since 1978. She has set up High 5 Netball, coaching centres, junior clubs, summer schools, youth umpire course and local junior competitions. Linda is an inspiration to all staff and students with her energy, passion and drive.

For more information about he awards and the criteria, visit the Sport Awards page.