First group of Girls Active Awards nominees announced

We have had a wealth of fantastic nominations so far for the 2020 Girls Active Awards. Read on to find out more about some of them…

Victoria Charlton - Leader Award

Meet Victoria, one of the nominees in the Leaders category of the 2020 Girls Active Awards. Victoria is a student in Year 11 at Anthony Gell School, and she has been participating in the Girls Active programme since 2015.

Growing up, Victoria was always very active, being involved in everything from dance and swimming to hockey and cricket. Despite struggling with injury, she continued playing hockey into secondary school, alongside umpiring and working towards a coaching qualification. She also started helping to run other school sports events including cricket, hockey, athletics, tennis, golf, dance and many more. In Year 8, Victoria joined the Girls Active programme, going on to attend the national conference at Loughborough University.

Taking part in the Girls Active programme inspired Victoria to help girls in her school who didn’t feel included in sports to get active. She created a ‘Get Active’ session for a group of Year 7 students who weren’t engaged in sport. She planned a six-month programme of delivering fun and inclusive activities such as a tag cone goal game, running relays, adapted volleyball and Drumba as well as a range of welcome games and a group discussion at the end of the session.

The feedback was fantastic. One participant said, “I struggle to do activities out of school because my parents work so I would like a more approachable club in school time.” This motivated Victoria to create a club where all students were welcome and could be themselves.

Victoria’s teacher, Ms. Berrelli, says:

“Victoria has implemented many changes to our school and plans to carry on until she leaves for university, where she hopes to become a primary teacher. Being a Girls Active leader has inspired Victoria for 5 years (it’s even inspired her career choice!) and she has inspired and is continuing to inspire many girls of all ages to participate. She is a real asset to both the Girls Active programme and our school!”

Pittville Sports Ambassadors – GLAMS Award

We believe that sport has a very special power to bring communities together – and that’s what our GLAMS award is all about. In many schools where we run the Girls Active programme, the scheme can lead to sports leadership committees being formed by the girls involved to further engage their fellow students in physical activity.

The Pittville Sports Ambassadors are one such group. Based in Pittville School, the Ambassadors hold a crucial role, doing everything from supporting the Year 7 weekly mile, to running a ‘Buddies’ scheme for students in the younger years, who they pair up with as a ‘big sister’ to help build their confidence in P.E. lessons.

The Ambassadors are in Year 9, and some of them have now been holding this role for two years. Many of the girls who are now ambassadors struggled with their own self-esteem in sport, so their growth and leadership are truly impressive.

The group is highly self-sufficient, and even recruited a new group of year 9s this year, leading the whole process from creating an aspirational video promoting the role, to presenting an assembly and holding interviews.

Their current focus is on raising money to buy some new sports equipment for the school in less mainstream sports, with the aim of engaging disaffected students and increasing their enjoyment of P.E. The Ambassadors brainstormed activities to select three sports, presented them to tutor groups across all years, and voted for an investment in new Parkour equipment. Finally, they carried out a fundraiser and were able to purchase several items of Parkour equipment for the school.

The Ambassadors’ teacher says:

“They have built beautiful and trusting relationships between themselves and other vulnerable students in the lower school. They genuinely are proud of their role and enjoy making the difference that they do.”

Emi Dylewska – Personal Growth Award

One of the great things about the Girls Active programme is how much confidence it builds in participants. Emi, one of the nominees for the 2020 Girls Active Personal Growth award, is the perfect example of this.

Emi Dylewska is a student in Year 9 at Ivanhoe College. Last year, Emi was lacking in confidence and becoming frustrated during school P.E. lessons. However, when she joined the Girls Active programme, this all began to change.

The programme helped to build her self-esteem and Emi went on to join the school netball club, where she blossomed even further. She applied for the role of Miss Motivator, and on getting the job, started volunteering at all of the college’s Girls Active events, from washing spare P.E. kit and bibs to acting as a spokesperson for her peers, telling leaders what the girls are hoping to get out of the programme.

Emi also inspired the other leaders to develop the changing rooms in her school, where the girls stay from 3pm-9pm on a Friday after school. She takes on a proactive role in encouraging less confident students to have a go, and now even leads parts of the netball club from her work with Girls Active.

Her teacher, Mrs Smith, says:

“Emi has managed to tackle her own anxieties and can relate to many of the concerns of our girls. She positively influences others and works so hard to inspire and have a positive impact on others. I am so proud of her.”