Megan Lowe, 16, from South Dartmoor Community College has been recognised by the Youth Sport Trust and awarded the national winner of the Girls Active Awards 2017.
Megan was chosen as the overall winner from the nine regional winners selected earlier this year, and was presented with her prize by Welsh rugby international Philippa Tuttiett. Megan acts as a mentor and role model to younger girls and raises issues students are facing with the governors. She has been instrumental in setting up a girls only Boogie Bounce club at her school and helping to bust the myth that weight lifting is just for boys.
The Girls Active Awards celebrates the work of schools to develop positive attitudes towards sport and recognises individual students for their personal academic achievements, wellness transformations and inspirational leadership through increased physical activity. Regional winners were selected from three regions (the North, Central and South of England) and across three categories (Committed Learner, Wellness Transformation and Inspirational Leader). Megan was awarded the Committed Learner prize for the South region.
Kate Hutchings, PE Teacher at South Dartmoor Community College said:
Megan is so approachable, which makes her an ideal link between students and staff. Her assistance in taking assembles made her someone who younger students could look up to. Furthermore, she took fellow committee member, Izzy, under her wing, acting a mentor and role model, as well as a friend. The success of the Girls Only Fitness Suite Club is partly down to her; doing challenging work outs every week and busting the myth that weight training isn’t for girls.
"Megan’s ideas for increasing girls’ participation at our school (such as running a spinning club), and her dedication to the weekly meetings means she has generated new schemes, and raised issues girls are facing. Megan took suggestions to the governors regarding the PE uniform and changes were made as a result. The Girls Active Committee wanted to start a girls only club so Boogie Bounce was born! They applied for Sportivate funding so they could purchase 16 trampolines, train an instructor and purchase incentives such as t-shirts.
"It was a huge success, running for six weeks, but they wanted to do more, so they set up a loyalty card scheme. Every girl now has a card, collecting a sticker for each club they do. They then receive prizes which increase in value the more stickers they collect- thanks to funding, we purchased prizes. We have seen a massive boost in club numbers and more importantly there have been attitude and language changes: ‘strong’, ‘lean’, ‘toned’ replacing ‘skinny’. This would not have happened without the dedication from Megan."
Other national winners recognised were Amy Nugent from George Stephenson High School who won the wellness transformation award, Chloe Brownbill from Great Marlow School who won the committed learner award, and Sophie Willis from Caroline Chisholm School, who won the inspirational ambassador award.
The Girls Active programme aims to make a positive difference by improving girls’ attitudes to school, raising girls’ confidence and self-esteem and increasing levels participation in PE, sport and physical activity among girls. Funded by Sport England National Lottery and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust in partnership with Women in Sport and This Girl Can, it aims to tackle declining participation in physical activity by adolescent girls and its associated implications for health, wellbeing and academic attainment.