Girls Active Awards 2019 - Leader

YST Girls Active Awards 2019 - Leader
The leader award recognises a positive relatable role model who is inclusive, empowers other girls, has set up new clubs, teams or programmes and has made a positive difference to the lives of girls and women at school and/or in the wider community.

There are five nominees in this category. One nominee will be revealed each week from Monday 30 September through to Monday 28 October. The winner will be announced at the start of November. The nominees are listed below. 

Aliyah Olajide 

Aliyah has been shortlisted for the Girls Active Leader Award and is from Durants School, a coeducational Special School in Enfield, London.

Mrs Bristow, the teacher who nominated her says: "I am delighted for Aliyah that she has been shortlisted for the Leader Award. She has really enjoyed taking on responsibility through the Girls Active programme and developing her leadership skills. She is delighted to have been shortlisted."

Although Aliyah has a diagnosis of Autism, which could put many constraints on her, she doesn’t let it stop her. Despite starting the year as shy student, reluctant to take part in active physical activities she not only developed her leadership skills, but her own confidence, enjoying Girls Active.

Over the course of the year Aliyah has participated in a range of activities such as gymnastics, cheerleading, Zumba, take 10 and others. You can read more about her nomination here.

With support, Aliyah was able to give us the following statements;

“I have enjoyed leading. I found it difficult feeling confident. Physical activity and teamwork help me and other girls to feel more confident.

“I think girls should feel confident to be more active.”

Leah Sibley

Leah Sibley from Vandyke Upper School in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, has been shortlisted for the Girls Active Leader Award.

Passionate when leading clubs, Leah has been going above and beyond to provide clubs to girls both in her own school and at middle schools in the area, providing girls with new sporting experiences as well as extending her own knowledge.

Leah made sure every girl knew what clubs were available to them. During the schools’ new year 8 and year 9 intake day, Leah provided every new student with leaflets and information about the girls’ active clubs that she was offering when they would come up to the school.

Not only has she been working hard studying for her GCSE’s but she has been committed to her Girls Active work. This included going above and beyond in providing girls with exercise plans whilst she was sitting her exams if she wasn’t able to lead a club that week. Incredibly motivated and organised as a leader, she will continue to provide clubs when she is in sixth-form, having progressed as a Leader throughout her school experience.

Leah told us: “I was very shocked and surprised to hear that I have been shortlisted, I’m extremely happy about it. I am grateful for the opportunity I have been given and have really enjoyed the experiences I have had in becoming a Girls Active leader.”

Miss. Pollard, Leah’s PE Teacher who nominated her said; “I am very proud of Leah, she has become an outstanding Leader, going above and beyond my expectations, having run numerous clubs within the school as well as at a number of local middle schools. She has now taken a lead role in the coaching of younger leaders within the school imparting her won skills, knowledge and qualities to assist them in their own development.”

Louisa Meehan

Louisa from Wadebridge Secondary School in Cornwall has been shortlisted for the Girls Active Leader Award.

Louisa has been instrumental to the schools’ Girls Active programme. Identifying some of the barriers to participation for some of the inactive and disaffected girls, Louisa helped with solutions as well as encouraged girls to participate.

Louisa found that girls wanted to try rugby within school so she helped to set up a girls’ rugby club, helped to organise inter-form competitions for lower school students and encouraged girls in year 10 and 11 to try the sport who then went on to represent the school in a tournament. She has been part of the GLAMS team for three years and was involved in a beach festival, bringing new sports to girls in the school.

Inspired to join the schools’ first group of GLAMS, Louisa wrote a letter outlining why she should be part of the team.

“Her letter stated she wanted girls to be determined and confident so that they could take part in sport” says her PE teacher Mrs Ball, who nominated her for the award.

“Over the last three years our Girls Active club has been successful and Louisa has been instrumental in planning, leading and organising a range of activities to break down the barriers to participation.

“She worked with an athlete mentor, Heather Fell, and organised a beach festival as a celebration of Girls Active” she adds.

The beach festival Louisa organised was a huge success, encouraging a range of students who have never surfed before accessing new and exciting skills.

A keen rugby player herself, her passion for the sport has helped to encourage many other girls, including inactive year 10 and 11 students, into the sport. She has also been involved in setting up a community girls rugby club. 

Louisa told us: “I have always been quite involved in sport and have enjoyed it, that’s why I decided to help out after school and become a sports prefect so I can encourage teenage girls to be active and enjoy sport. Whilst becoming a leader I found that rugby was my sport and now play at my local club (Newquay Hornets) and have got into the Cornwall squad, playing at number 1 (loose-head prop). I hope that I have encouraged girls to be more active and determine them to find a sport they enjoy doing.”

Izzy King

Izzy King from Cambourne Village College in Cambourne, Cambridgeshire has been shortlisted for the Girls Active Leader Award.

Accumulating a staggering 200 hours of volunteering time, not only has Izzy contributed to her local girls’ football teams, she’s established her own club at school in which she’s coached and managed fixtures, set up the schools’ first girls’ football competition and inspired the largest cohort of year 9s to apply to become sports leaders themselves.

Leading by example, she soon engaged football activators to help out at the tournament as referees and scorers, she’s inspired other leaders to take forward sports opportunities and continued to push the PE department to offer all students a great experience.

Izzy told us: “I believe that everyone should be given an equal opportunity to take part in sport and follow a pathway, whether it is coaching, refereeing or playing.

“The feeling you get when you see someone learning a new skill and enjoying themselves is something unmatchable. I wish to continue trying to inspire others for many more years to come.”

Nominated by two of her teachers, Miss Curtis, Head of PE and Miss Gassner, Izzy’s PE Teacher who told us;

“Izzy has dedicated so much of her time to volunteering, coaching and leading. She is an inspiration in our school and in the wider-community and is known as someone who is always willing to help and motivate others to find their own enjoyment and passion in sport and leadership like she has. She is fully deserving of this national recognition in order to celebrate all her continued hard work.”

Izzy has now moved on to sixth form but will be continuing to support the girls programme at Cambourne Village College. 

Sian Wright

Sian has been shortlisted for the Girls Active Leader Award and is from Wexham School in Slough and is now in year 10.

Since the start of the schools’ involvement with Girls Active, Sian has been involved in leading it – planning sessions, attending the local primary school each week to run the ‘Game of our own’ programme, engaging over 30 students, who’s confidence has increased drastically as a result.

“She has been so dedicated and spends time at home researching new ideas and games to encourage more participation within the primary school” says Mrs Reaves-Williams, Assistant Leader of PE at Wexham School, who nominated Sian for the award.

In addition to the primary sessions Sian then began running the healthy lifestyle champions programme in which she leads other leaders to a group of year 7 students.

“Sian started getting involved in leadership opportunities in year 7 and has been incredibly committed with outstanding leadership qualities – she’s always first to help and support others and I’m so pleased she has been shortlisted, it is very well deserved” adds Mrs. Reeves-Williams.

Return to the Girls Active Awards page