Sky Academy Ambassador Jessica Ennis-Hill made a surprise visit to Leeds to present 15-year-old Steffan Rothery-Wager with the Sky Sports Living for Sport Student of the Year Award for England.
Reigning Olympic Champion Ennis-Hill surprised Steffan, and more than 200 students, when she interrupted a Year 10 performance of Fame at Temple Moor High School to give him the award, broadcast live on Sky Sports News HQ.
Steffan will now attend the Sky Sports Living for Sport Awards at Sky Studios in London to discover whether he will be crowned the overall UK & Ireland Student of the Year. He will be up against winners for Wales, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and Scotland and the Awards will be broadcast on Sky Sports tomorrow, Sunday March 29.
The Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of students and teachers in using sport stars and the skills learnt through sport to build life skills as a result of their involvement in the programme. Sky Sports Living for Sport is part of Sky Academy, a set of initiatives using the power of TV, creativity and sport to help one million young people in the UK and Ireland build practical skills and experience to unlock their potential.
Jessica Ennis-Hill said: “I'm delighted to present Steffan with the Student of the Year Award for England. He was once a very challenging student but has now applied himself in school and has changed his behaviour for the better. He has a bright future ahead of him thanks to the life skills learned through Sky Sports Living For Sport and is a deserving winner. I'll be tuning in tomorrow to see which of our five winners picks up the overall UK & Ireland Student of the Year Award.”
Steffan was selected as the Student of the Year winner for England by a panel of judges for participating in the Sky Sports Living for Sport programme to tackle his bad behaviour at school. Steffan was a challenging student, regularly causing disruption to his classmates and teachers, which saw him frequently removed from lessons.
Participating in Sky Sports Living for Sport presented Steffan with the tools to overcome his troublesome nature. He was also inspired by Athlete Mentor Rachael MacKenzie's advice who shared new ways to channel his energy, focus his mind and set personal goals to overcome his negative behaviour while working with him on the programme.
Mackenzie's words combined with the life skills Steffan gained through the Sky Sports Living for Sport project certainly hit home. He was the only student on the project to achieve 100% attendance, and his commitment to the project and remarkable transformation saw him elected as a student ambassador to inspire the next group of students to take part in the programme.
Steffan's teacher Ross Dunn said: “I am over the moon that Steffan has been nominated for this award. He has grown enormously as a person and effective student as a result of taking part in the project, and can be proud of the journey he has made in relation to his academic and personal life as a result. I have no doubt that the skills and positive attitude he has developed during the Sky Sports Living for Sport experience will stay with him for life.”
The Sky Sports Living for Sport initiative has been running in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust since 2003 and this academic year alone over 1500 UK secondary schools and 175 Irish secondary schools will take part.