TEENAGERS at a South Tyneside school are ready to lead the borough’s younger children to sporting success.
St Wilfrid’s RC School has been made a sports leadership academy – three weeks after the Gazette revealed it was to be awarded the status.
It means pupils at the school in Temple Park Road, South Shields, will be providing coaching in a range of sports after being recognised by Sports Leaders UK, a national charity which promotes sporting achievement.
It is the first school in the borough to get the status, and only the second in the North East, along with the Hermitage Academy in Chester-le-Street, County Durham.
Representatives from Sports Leaders UK were at St Wilfrid’s on Monday to present an accreditation plaque to deputy headteacher Peter Mitchell.
Mr Mitchell said: “Becoming a sports leadership academy is great news for us, and it is a credit to everyone at St Wilfrid’s.
“We are all proud to receive the plaque, and to welcome representatives from Sports Leaders UK to our school.” The new status reflects St Wilfrid’s eight-year-commitment to developing teenage pupils into sports coaches.
At present, more than 100 of the school’s pupils, aged from 13 to 16, provide coaching sessions for younger children at sports fairs across South Tyneside each year in athletics, tennis, badminton, dance and other activities.
Mr Mitchell added: “We are really delighted with the number of pupils participating in the Sports Leaders schemes, to the benefit of our partner primary schools.”
Sports Leaders’ UK commercial development director, Midge Blake, and North East foundation manager Natalie Dunbar, were given a tour of the school and saw pupils during a sports leaders’ lesson.
The award is the latest chapter in St Wilfrid’s recent story of success.
The school was taken off the official ‘failing’ list in January after being placed in special measures in October 2010.
League tables published in early February also showed 91 per cent of pupils at St Wilfrid’s School gained five or more A* to C grades across all subjects.