London school celebrates national award success at charity conference

West Lea, A special school with specialist Sports College status, picked up a prestigious national award during the Youth Sport Trust’s 2018 Annual Conference for how it uses the power of PE, school sport and physical activity to change the lives of young people.

West Lea School won the national children’s charity’s Outstanding SEND School award which is sponsored by outdoor education trip provider PGL, during a ceremony at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry on 27 February. The award recognises and rewards best practice and achievements through PE and sport by schools, colleges and young people across the UK.

West Lea stood out to judges for highlighting how PE and school sport has supported its young people’s confidence and employability skills. Ali Oliver, Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust, said: “The Youth Sport Trust would like to wish huge congratulations to West Lea School for winning the prestigious Outstanding SEND School award. West Lea has demonstrated a huge commitment to supporting its pupils to be healthy both physically and mentally by delivering first class PE and sport throughout its school, which is fantastic to see. They are worthy winners of this special prize and truly embody the values that the Youth Sport Trust champions.”

Sue Tripp, Executive Headteacher at West Lea School, said: “The team and I are thrilled to have received this prestigious award. As a
specialist sports college, PE and healthy lifestyles are at the forefront of our mission, which is to help our young people be as independent as possible…”

Sue continues, “developing interests and being able to participate in sporting activities is fundamental to the development of our young people here at West Lea.”

A total of seven awards were presented at the Youth Sport Trust Awards Dinner throughout the gala night with all awards aligned to the theme of this year’s conference, ‘Sport changing lives – for good’. The timing is perfect with the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Paralympic Games in full swing with TeamGB winning 27 medals in the opening 5 days – even more reasons to be inspired by people with disabilities. The wider Youth Sport Trust 2018 Conference took place between 27 to 28 February with over 500 headteachers and school sports professionals in attendance.

The conference saw the launch of the charity’s new strategy for the future as well as a line-up of high profile speakers including Dr John Ratey, a Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and Dame Katherine Grainger, Chair of UK Sport and Great Britain’s most decorated female Olympian. Attendees also had the chance to network, make new connections, and take part in workshops.

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