The ‘inspirational leadership’ of a sports teacher has been praised after a primary school picked up a coveted award.
Rishton St Charles RC primary school headed off stiff competition to win the ‘Primary School of the Year’ category at the annual Hyndburn Community Sports Awards.
The school was nominated by staff Marie Fenton and Rachael Gavin for its services to sport in the community and continuing efforts to dedicate more time to physical fitness.
Headteacher Vivien Baker said she was ‘very proud’.
She said: “We have an inspirational teacher of sport in Miss Gavin. I wondered if we might get it but you can’t count your chickens.
“We got the award for links with the community like Clayton Athletic Club, Rishton United, Blackburn Road Runners and Blackburn Rovers.
“It was also for the many different sporting achievements.
“Our cricket team got through to the county finals, our football team went undefeated all year and we won the inaugural Catenians Shield which is a football competition between local Catholic schools.
“We have increased participation in other clubs outside the school and introduced the children to more unusual sports. We have 40 children that are now Level One in fencing.”
Mrs Baker said the increased uptake in sport is also helping pupils with their learning as they are now ‘more alert’.
Ward councillor and cabinet member for leisure Ken Moss, who was on the judging panel, said: “I’m delighted that St Charles has once again won an award and it is a testament to the teachers at the school.
“Marie paid a hearty tribute to the very hard work which Rachael has put in over the past few years and it is obviously showing. Well done.”
The annual awards ceremony took place at Accrington Town Hall and included guest speaker and former footballer Kenny Saunders.