Mo Farah’s PE teacher receives heroic award
Alan Watkinson, the former PE teacher of London 2012 10,000m and 5,000m gold medallist, Mo Farah, has been awarded the Daily Mirror's Pride of Britain Teacher of the Year Award.
Now the Partnership Manager of the Feltham and Isleworth SSPs, Alan is responsible for managing sports provision for more than 70 schools. Alan is also on the Youth Sport Trust's National Faculty of Trainers and has been involved inBupa Start to Movetraining and Matalan Sporting Promise training. Alan's biggest claim to fame, however, is being the PE teacher that encouraged Mo Farah into the sport of athletics.
Alan was recently invited back to the annual prize-giving evening at his former school, Isleworth and Syon School for Boys, where Mo presented the Farah Cup to a pupil who showed remarkable effort. Following the presentation Mo invited Alan onto the stage and presented him with is invitation to the Pride of Britain Awards, after being chosen as Teacher of the Year for exceeding his efforts in inspiring thousands of pupils to reach their potential.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror about his former PE teacher, Mo said: "Alan has been a big part of my life and it's great to see him win this. He told me to join a running club and I was like 'No'. But if it wasn't for him I wouldn't be where I am now. He changed my life."
As well as encouraging Mo to attend a running club, Alan gave the future Olympian his first pair of trainers. Speaking to the Daily Mirror about his work, Alan said: "I just offer young people the chance to realise their potential and make them understand that sport can open doors to students even if they are not academic."
The Pride of Britain Awards was aired on ITV last night, hosted by Carol Vorderman at London's Grosvenor House Hotel, and sponsored by Lidl. Prince Charles, David Cameron, Pierce Brosnan, Jon Bon Jovi, Gary Barlow, Dawn French and Nicole Scherzinger were amongst the celebrities honouring Britain's unsung heros.
(Image owned by the Daily Mirror)