Leigh College have followed up their recent Sports Leaders success by winning the Regional Leadership Academy of the Year award.

Sports Leaders UK has officially recognised the education provider, which is a Centre of Excellence in Sport, as being the best in the region (Area 4).

This area covers the whole of Northern England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland. The College also finished national runners up to Derby College.

Sports Leaders UK work with over 2000 organisations and 90,000 young people each year across the UK to up-skill them.

Students last academic year worked towards their Sports Leadership qualifications which are designed to use sport and physical activity to help young people develop and hone their leadership skills whilst helping themselves and others stay physically active.

A total of 2761 primary and secondary school pupils took part in the School Games in which the college students took an active lead.

Throughout 2017-2018, the young leaders contributed to a total of 1176 hours of leadership.

This all contributed to the College maintaining their Leadership Academy status and this latest award comes after a successful application from Sports Lecturer and Quality Co-ordinator, Rebecca Armstrong.

The application strongly demonstrated and highlighted how important criteria’s including having excellent links with the community, inclusivity and employability links were met.

Rebecca Armstrong said: “We are thrilled to have achieved this accolade. It’s a credit to all the hard work that students and staff have put in to enhance the lives of young people in the borough.”

“Our Centre of Excellence in Sport which has three academies (football, rugby league and sports leaders) allows our learners to maximise their sporting and coaching talents and students will now benefit from a newly added weekly sports leadership session.”

All learners engage in a work placement each academic year. A range of guest speakers have provided talks to the sports leaders, highlighting work experience and employment opportunities.

Guest speakers have included Leigh Community Trust, Diddikicks and Premier Sport. All three organisations have since provided the sports leaders with a work placement, which has led to one of the Level 3 Higher Sports Leaders being offered paid employment.

Sports Leaders UK Partnership Manager, Alan Brierley added: “Leigh College has built up sports leadership and the panel were really impressed with the delivery, programmes and impact.”

Former Westleigh High School pupil, Katie Barker, gained three Distinction Stars on her BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport.

She supplemented this by working towards her Higher Level 3 Sports Leadership qualification and using it in her pursuit of securing her 3rd black belt in karate.

She said: “It gives me lots of experiences leading in different environments and to be innovative when creating sessions.”

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