Team GB Handball star John Pearce (centre left) and Octathlete, Nick Hunt (centre right) celebrate the achievements of Avonbourne and Harewood college's Sports Personality of the Year competition winners

SPORT PERSONALITIES: Team GB Handball star John Pearce (centre left) and Octathlete, Nick Hunt (centre right) celebrate the achievements of Avonbourne and Harewood college’s Sports Personality of the Year competition winners

Hundreds of young people were honoured at a special awards ceremony celebrating sporting achievement. Hosted by Bournemouth’s Harewood and Avonbourne colleges, the eighth Sports Personality of the Year awards celebrated the achievements of its own students plus children from 19 primary schools across the borough. More than 400 children and teenagers, aged 7 to 18, and their parents attended the event, which was held at Harewood College’s sports hall. In total 150 children received commendations after being nominated by their teachers, with 20 of those winning the top personality of the year prizes. Guests of honour, who helped hand out the awards, were British record-holder and Octathlete, Nick Hunt and Team GB handball star John Pearce.

Executive Head Teacher of Avonbourne Trust, Debbie Godfrey-Phaure, said, “Sport is a great way of inspiring young people to work hard and try their best.”

“It encourages sportsmanship and working in a team – all excellent qualities to prepare young people for life.

“We are very passionate about sport and our annual Sports Personality of the Year Awards is a wonderful celebration of our local school students.”

The awards’ ceremony celebrates the accomplishments of school children from Year 3 to Year 12, bringing together local primary schools plus Avonbourne and Harewood colleges to celebrate the achievements sport has brought to them. In a similar way to the BBC’s award of the same name, recognition is given to the young person who has, through their personality, contributed the most to school sport in their year group. Awards were also presented to students who best represented the seven Olympic values: Excellence, Friendship, Respect, Inspiration, Equality, Determination and Courage.

This year a special ‘Olympic Inspiration’ award was handed to retiring teaching assistant Dave Wood in recognition of the many years he has worked at the Trust and inspired generations of its students.

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