The annual AoC Sport Awards were not able to physically take place this year due to COVID-19 so we decided to make the announcement over social media
This was a great chance to showcase and celebrate the achievements and inspirational work of students and staff in college sport.
The six categories of winners and highly commended were:
- Achievement in Disability Sport
- Hall of Fame
- Student Performer of the Year
- Team of the Year (sponsored by Matrix Fitness)
- Inspirational Student of the Year
- Volunteer of the Year (strictly for Leadership Academy colleges)
In this article we focus on the Achievement in Disability Sport and Hall of Fame categories.
Achievement in Disability Sport winner
George Chapman- Newcastle & Stafford Colleges Group (NSCG)
George Chapman is a second-year student at NSCG George who has cerebral palsy spastic diplegia.
He is an elite wheelchair basketball player who competes in the top division nationally for Crusaders Wheelchair Basketball team and has recently been called up the the GB Wheelchair squad.
George has inspired many others within his club, college and local community, by showing that anything is possible with hard work, training well and playing at your maximum. He has been involved in a wide range of sports at the college, such as badminton, table tennis, cricket and basketball.
George is a great role model for other students because of his positive can-do attitude. He has not let his disability prevent him from competing and he has used his experiences in talks to students to inspire them.
He has been heavily involved in equality and diversity initiatives in and around college participating and running different events, including wheelchair basketball matches for students from different curriculum areas.
George makes a three-hour round trip three times a week for training and home matches and travels nationally for away matches. He also hires out a local sports hall to work on individual aspects of his game and swims every Wednesday to help increase his fitness levels as well as doing weight training each evening at home.
Jack Rowland- Coleg Cambria
Jack Rowland is a Special Olympics all-rounder who is an ILS (Independent Living Skills) Skills Entry Level 2 student at Coleg Cambria.
Jack has refused to let his learning difficulties get in the way of his sporting success and he has excelled in a wide range of activities, representing Cambria in boccia (bowls), football, golf and basketball.
He has competed in football competitions across Wales for Brickfield Rangers All Stars football team and has been a member of the Ellesmere Port, Neston & Chester Special Olympics Football Team since 2012. Most recently he was the top goal scorer and won the league this year with Coleg Cambria in AoC Sport’s North West pan ability football league.
Jack is also a member of the North West Special Olympics equestrian side, competing in regional dressage and equitation contests and has even found time to complete three work placements this year, including at Sports@Deeside and Lifestyle Fitness.
Brook Dickson- Tyne Met College
Brook Dickson is a Foundation Learning student studying Personal and Social Development at Tyne Met College who has managed his ADHD really well and been an inspiration to a lot of students.
He is a selfless individual who goes above and beyond to help other students who have more profound learning and physical disabilities or who need extra support.
An outstanding example of this is Brook’s dedication to the college football team. He voluntarily offered one-to-one coaching and support to one of the players on the team who had never played before.
Brook saw that he was struggling and thanks to his help, the player’s confidence was boosted and there was a huge improvement in his game.
Hall of Fame Winner
Beth Harris - NewVIc College
Beth Harris has worked at Newham Sixth Form College for 11 years and is the Sports Development Manager. She has had a significant impact, not only on students, but everyone she has worked with in the sector.
As Chair of AoC Sport’s London Operations Network for six years, Beth has engaged in every project and competition that has been run and always wants what is best for colleges.
Beth has overseen a rich and varied programme of activities at New VIc and this year the Sports Academy Team has been shortlisted for the FE Team of the Year at The Pearson National Awards.
Beth is keen to see sport be a success at all levels. The college has 11 competitive sports teams, with one of the most successful being the cricket team, who have narrowly lost out on winning the National Championships for two years in a row.
However, enrichment and developing sport is as much, if not more important at NewVIc, and the college runs full and inclusive Tackling Inactivity, student ambassador and volunteer programmes which have made significant contributions to the college and the community.
Beth will be leaving her role in May to take up the role of Club and Coach Development Officer at The University of Nottingham.
Anthony Viggars - Newcastle & Stafford College
Anthony Viggars has been the male and female volleyball coach at NSCG for the last 10 years and is an inspiration and a credit to the college and volleyball.
In the last decade he has guided the college to 15 National titles and many more regional. He guided the women’s team to National Championships glory last year and Team of the Year in the 2019 Sports Awards. His commitment is infectious and his drive for improvement means players rarely miss training, with 7.45am sessions being the norm.
Anthony has also mentored many coaches who have gone on to become extremely successful in their own right. In addition many of the players he has coached have reached international level and three have captained their countries.
It’s not just international players he has coached so excellently, his work with beginners in schools, college and at his local volleyball club is inspiring and earned him coach of the year in the 2018 Newcastle Sports Awards.
Andy Green- New College Pontefract
Andy Green has a lifetime of service to sport over 40 years as a PE teacher and 10 years running competitive sport at New College Pontefract.
He is a role model to staff as well as students. His energy and passion remind us of the power sport and physical activity have in making fully rounded individuals who are ready for the challenges ahead.
Andy is a fantastic teacher who deserves recognition for his selfless and consistent hard work in enriching student opportunities and experience. He is only contracted to his role two days per week but always devotes far more time than this to ensure events take place.
He sees opportunities rather than barriers and has trained officials and competitors in disability sport, including Boccia England and IZB basketball to ensure opportunities are inclusive.
Stuart Reddington - Lincoln College
Stuart is curriculum/faculty director and has been involved with in the development of college sport at Lincoln College and AoC Sport for over 16 years.
He loves seeing the students being involved in high level sport and is always proud of students when they qualify from regional competitions and go on to the National Championships.
“His drive and passion to encourage learners to be involved in sport and recreational activities is second to none” - Dave Knowles (Lincoln College)
Find out more about the Sport Awards.