Sky’s the limit for Warminster youngster
6:00pm Thursday 21st February 2013 in Latest News
Kingdown student Alan Townley joins 11 other regional finalists from across the UK after being named the Sky Sports Living for Sport Student of the Year for the South West.
The awards celebrate the successful way UK secondary schools are using Sky Sports Living for Sport, a free initiative delivered in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust, to inspire young people through sport.
Alan, 15, was nominated to be part of Kingdown School’s project after he was regularly excluded from lessons for poor behaviour and struggled with low self-esteem and poor communication skills.
From September 2011, he was part of a project which delivered an alternative curriculum with Bath Rugby Club. Alan, from Warminster, said: “I’m a lot happier now. I used to get in fights every day, but the Sky Living for Sport project showed me that I don’t have to fight.
“We’ve done lots of different activities; I really enjoyed going to rugby on Mondays at Bath. We used to go to the gym to help disabled kids.
“Our mentors showed me that things are always tough at first, but if you don’t give up they get easier. Being part of this project has allowed me to believe in myself.”
Alan was selected by Bath Rugby Club as the student who had made the most progress, attending every session and developing his communication skills.
Education manager for Bath Rugby Foundation Vicky Heslop said: “We worked with Alan for about six months and he showed a huge improvement in terms of his personal development during that time.
“He showed a lot of empathy when working with children with disabilities and learning difficulties in an after school sports club, which is an important part of our programme.”
Since starting the project, Alan has been moved up a school year and his enhanced enthusiasm for learning has seen him receive rewards for determination in maths, excellent effort in science and in English and an English Five Star award. Kingdown assistant head Joanne Ronxin said: “We are delighted that Sky Sports Living for Sport has helped to give Alan a newfound passion for both sport and school.” Alan now goes to London for the national finals on March 15.