THE cream of sporting talent from a Northumberland academy has been recognised at an awards ceremony with speakers from the worlds of rugby and football to inspire future success.
More than 60 students at Bede Academy in in Blyth, were invited to a formal dinner and presentation to celebrate their achievements in sport.
Former Newcastle United and England Under 21s player Robbie Elliott inspired the students not only with his dedication on the pitch but also to raising money for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.
Now working as a coach in the USA, Robbie said: “I have been fortunate to work with a lot of coaches and managers and I have taken a lot of advice and ideas from them.
“However, my biggest inspiration was my family and the sacrifices they made. Without them I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
Later this year Robbie is embarking on a cycling marathon across Europe, taking in all the football grounds that Sir Bobby was connected with during his life.
The students also heard from Frank Mayfield, who plays rugby for Oxford Harlequins and is youth work co-ordinator for Christians in Sport.
The guests presented awards in basketball, cricket, gymnastics, trampolining, dance, fencing, rowing, tennis and rounders, as well as in athletics, rugby, hockey and netball.
The coveted Stannard Award, presented annually for outstanding team effort, went to Joshua Ramsey, for his outstanding contribution to rugby.
As well as being captain of the Under 16s first XV, Joshua devotes his time to helping PE staff with the younger teams as a coach and referee on evenings and at weekends.
The audience also heard about Bede team successes outside school including the Year 7 and Year 8 rugby team winning the Area Tournament Trophy, the Year 9 rugby squad winning the Area Tournament Trophy and being County Cup finalists, and the Year 11 netball team being crowned Northumberland League Champions for the third year in a row.
Director of sport at Bede Academy Simon McAree said: “Our annual sports awards dinner is a night of celebration when we look back on the many successes of the last year and reflect on the continued progress made by so many of our teams and individuals.
“None of it could happen, of course, without the teaching staff and coaches who make such a big contribution to the development of our sports teams. Without their support we simply could not offer the extensive programme of activities that we do, so the dinner is also a thank you to them.”
The award winners were:
Year 7 rugby – player of the year Tom Marshall, most improved player Ryan Swinney;
Year 8 rugby – player of the year Richard Harland, most improved player Josh Greener;
Year 9 rugby – player of the year Kai Burn, most improved player Jonathon McDougall;
Year 10 rugby – player of the year Alex Robinson, most improved player Jack Towers;
Year 11 rugby – player of the year Jake Young, most improved player Jordan McGowan.
Year 7 netball – player of the year Brooke Nicolson, most improved player Alexandra Haliburton;
Year 8 netball – player of the year Shaunagh McGowan, most improved player Harriet Edwards;
Year 9 netball – player of the year Bethan Douglas, most improved player Rebecca Gilroy;
Year 10 netball – player of the year Anna Smith, most improved player Dale Hindhaugh;
Year 11 netball – player of the year Lauren Spence, most improved player Katie Young.
Year 7 hockey – player of the year Lauren Hogan, most improved player Tia Holroyd;
Year 8 hockey – player of the year Tyler McGowan, most improved player Chloe Adams;
Year 9 hockey – player of the year Amber Witson, most improved player Lauren Moffett;
Year 10 hockey – player of the year Chelsea Hilbert, most improved player Ashleigh McCall;
Year 11 hockey – player of the year Nicole Davis, most improved player Lauren Coundon.
Basketball – Year 8 player of the year Robbie Johnson, Year 9 player of the year Martin Hopper, Year 10 player of the year Sam Johnson.
Cricket – player of the year Connor Leason.
Gymnastics – performer of the year Laura Logan, most improved performer Sarah-Jane Perry.
Trampolining - performer of the year Ellen Keenan, most improved performer Holly Cowan.
Dance – performance of the year Courteney Chessher and Laura Gillespie.
Fencing – performer of the year Matthew Butcher;
Rowing – performer of the year Tom Marshall;
Tennis – Year 8 player of the year Connor Dowson, Year 10 player of the year Jak Ditchburn.
Rounders – Year 7 player of the year Aiesha Greer, Year 8 player of the year Dana Kelly, Year 9 player of the year Callie McKenzie, Year 10 player of the year Sarah-Jane Perry.
Athletics – Year 7 athlete of the year Saskia Stones, Year 8 athlete of the year Adam Simmons, Year 9 athlete of the year Nathaniel Lynn, Year 10 athlete of the year Jak Ditchburn.
The Stannard Award for outstanding team effort – Joshua Ramsey.