The Nottingham Emmanuel School has hosted its annual Sports Awards evening and has highlighted a wealth of sporting talent and success at the West Bridgford based-school.
Gareth Clarke, Head of PE and acting Director of Learning Community at The Nottingham Emmanuel School said that it was a fantastic reflection on the achievements of the sporting year. “It is an event we are very proud of and was again a real success. I am really pleased with how it went and the fact that all who attended enjoyed this wonderful opportunity to come together and celebrate Emmanuel’s talented students. We strive to provide our students with opportunities to participate and thrive in a wide range of sporting activities, and it has led to some outstanding team and personal performances this year. Our students are a real credit to the school and their families.”
Student Josh Smith won accolades on the evening including Basketball and Sports Personality of the Year and said, “It means a lot to me to win the Sports Personality award, it’s made me really happy. I like my sports and the PE teachers at Emmanuel are really nice and supportive. I want to be a professional basketball player when I am older, but I also have back up plans if I don’t make it to that level!” Josh’s Mother, Marie Smith, was in the audience at the awards. “I’m just so proud of him.
It has been a fantastic school for Josh and he has excelled in everything. Winning the Sports Personality award is a great confirmation that he is on the right path. Sometimes being a parent can be tough, but when things like this happen, it gives you hope you are doing the right thing to help them on their journey into adulthood.”
The special guest speaker on the night was Andy Townsend, who completed the gruelling Marathon Des Sables, described as the ‘toughest footrace on earth’. He had some good advice for the sporting students in the audience. “I would encourage the students here to dream big, to set big goals for themselves, to think about what they really want to achieve and to set their sights high. I would encourage them to persevere toward their goals, and not to give up. They should try and work with the people around them because in most things in life, we are part of a team that can work together. With determination and effort and support from others, you can achieve your dreams and goals.
“This is a fantastic school and it has been amazing to see how well the students have done and their achievements show how much time and dedication they have put into their activities. It is great to see them get rewarded on a night such as tonight.” Andy was a PE teacher for many years and says sport is a great encouragement to maturity and character. “I think it is so important for everyone to become involved in physical activity and the good thing it is that there are so many varieties of activities you can take part in; it’s not one sport fits all. Personally, when I decided to do the Marathon Des Sables, I was just inspired to take on a challenge. It started simply when I saw an advert for this 156-mile marathon across the Sahara Desert I thought, ‘Could I do that?’”
Andy says that there is a lesson that sports can teach you that helps in all walks of life. “When you try something you haven’t done before, like when I decided to try and complete the Marathon des Sables, you can feel apprehensive, you can wonder if you will get through it. That was running through my mind when I was at the starting point, and that feeling can occur throughout your life in many situations. You have to prepare well and be resilient, and you will often surprise yourself at what you can achieve.”
Teacher, Gareth Clarke agrees, “I feel this message is an important one for our students both with regards to their sporting and academic futures. Having Andy here speaking about his extraordinary achievements, when he isn’t a typical ‘professional’ athlete as such, will hopefully help our students to realise that they can achieve anything if they put their minds