A star studded night at the Youth Sport Trust 2024 Conference Awards

Katarina Johnson-Thompson was in attendance as the Youth Sport Trust presented seven awards to inspirational schools, trusts and individuals across the country.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson took time out from her preparations for the 2024 Olympics to celebrate the tireless work being carried out to improve the lives of young people through sport. The reigning heptathlon world champion was in attendance at the Youth Sport Trust 2024 Conference Awards, sponsored by Sports Directory and The LEGO Group.

The Trust presented seven awards on the evening to schools, settings, trusts, and individuals across the country who have gone above and beyond to make sport integral to young people’s development.

It was an opportunity for the Liverpudlian to give back to an organisation that stands for everything Johnson-Thompson has gone on to achieve.

Speaking at the event, Katerina said:

“It feels great to be here tonight, it’s a really good evening and event. It’s what I do and how I’ve been brought up, youth development and all the competitions that I did as a kid.

I don’t know who I am without sport and that came from PE lessons doing high jump. From that young age I found an identity through it where I was known for being good at something.

It’s a bit surreal being that inspiring person, I remember when I did a competition back in the day and I’m sure Denise Lewis came to it when I was one of the young athletes. I was there getting her autograph and getting her to sign my bib. It feels like a complete turnaround.

It’s nice to be here and giving back and it’s great to hear so many inspiring stories."

More than 120 nominations were received from across seven categories, and judging panels of experts reviewed the shortlisted entries to decide the finalists and winners who were announced on the night.

Outstanding Early Years Practice 

Central Bedfordshire Children’s Centres, Bedfordshire  


Outstanding Primary Practice 

Curwen Primary School, Newham

Outstanding Secondary Practice 

Manchester Communication Academy, Manchester  

Outstanding Inclusive Practice 

Wave Multi Academy Trust, Devon & Cornwall 

Outstanding Multi Academy Trust Practice  

Cabot Learning Federation, West of England 

Outstanding Contribution to the Community  

Kirkcaldy Sport and Leisure Alliance, Fife  

Campbell Award – Network Leader / Local Influencer Award

Alan Watkinson and Vincent Brittain

Katerina also gave out a special recognition award on the evening to Baroness Estelle Morris of Yardley who worked alongside the charity since 1997 and was instrumental in the development of the first sports colleges, the school sports partnerships network and the PE, School Sport & Club Links Strategy.

Youth Sport Trust Chief Executive Ali Oliver said of the winners:

“There have been so many incredibly worthy nominees for the various awards.

I’m so excited about all the innovation and tremendous practice that is going on across the country to build brighter futures for young people through the power of sport.”

Find out more about all the Finalists and why they were nominated here

Published on 21 March 2024