The cream of an academy’s sporting talent has been recognised at a prestigious prize ceremony.

Bede Academy, in Blyth, held its annual Sports Dinner to reflect on the sporting year, to recognise team and individual achievements in a range of sports and to remember sporting tours to the Lake District, France and Belgium and Bede hosting the Emmanuel Schools Foundation ‘Olympics’.

As well as the presentation of awards in hockey, rugby, athletics, tennis, basketball, cricket, rounders and netball, the students were treated to a dinner served in the academy sports hall when director of sport Simon McAree thanked them and PE staff for their efforts.

Inspiration to motivate the students in the year ahead came from guest speaker Amanda Coulson, a former Great Britain boxing champion and European silver medallist.

With a keen interest in all sports as a young girl, Amanda took up boxing after reading an article in her local newspaper.

She tried to join many local clubs but was hit with excuses from the lack of female changing facilities to there being no female coaches to clubs simply not accepting girls.

It only served to make her more determined and she was finally given a chance at Hartlepool Catholic Boys Boxing Club, first going with two friends who quickly dropped out.

The first to the gym after school and the last to leave, Amanda won her first fight within 45 seconds and went on to win 12 more in quick succession.

In her 16-year career, she took part in 81 contests and first represented England in 2004 before winning four senior ABA titles. She became GB champion in 2011 in a fight shown live on BBC TV.

She is now a Team GB national boxing coach, an athlete mentor for the Youth Sport Trust and an ambassador for women’s boxing.

She told the students: “When your friends have left to do something else, it’s easy to walk away and follow the crowd but if you have started something for you then it’s up to you to make those decisions and choose the direction you want to go in.

“Keep up the good work, keep up the effort and keep driving forward for you.”

The event also saw students voting for the Bede Academy Sports Personality of the Year from nominees Teigan Nesbitt, Annie Raine, Corey Hart and, ultimate winner, Vegas Liddell.

Award winners:
Year 6 – Sportsman of the year: Joel Chahal; Sportswoman of the year: Faye Thompson; Football Players of the year: Lola Emmonds, William Wood.

Athletics – Year 7: Mason Taylor; Year 8: Ella Wilkes; Year 9: Stewart Bestford; Year 10: Abbie Ross.

Tennis player of the year: Jack Barker
Basketball player of the year: James Shutt
Cricketer of the year: Finn Johnson.

Netball – Year 6 player of the year: Cody Sullivan; Year 7 players’ player: Evie Charlton, player of the year: Katie Fell; Year 8 players’ player: Grace Harrison, player of the year: Kelly Derbyshire; Year 9 players’ player: Ellie O’Brien, player of the year: Elizabeth Shutt; Year 10 players’ player: Alexis Waite, player of the year: Holly Robinson; Sixth Form players’ player: Tabby Carling, player of the year: Sarah McGuigan.

Rounders – Year 7/8 player of the year: Georgia O’Neil; Year 9/10 player of the year: Amy Leddy.

Hockey – Year 6 players of the year: Jake Forrester, Katie Dixon; Year 7 players’ player: Jasmine Moody, player of the year: Mollie Giles; Year 8 players’ player: Eva Wellington, player of the year: Bridget Wood; Year 9 players’ player: Rachel Bate, player of the year: Eve McKenzie; Year 10 players’ player: Amy Leddy, player of the year: Jessica Bate; Sixth Form players’ player: Teigan Nesbitt, player of the year: Erin Kutyla.

Rugby – Year 6 players of the year: Ethan Cook, Lucy Dunn; Year 7 players’ player: Felix Halsius, player of the year: Owen Aitken; Year 8 players’ player: Ethan Irving, player of the year: Eddie Hogg; Year 9 players’ player: Tony Henderson, player of the year: Thomas Short; Year 10 players’ player: Thomas Rutherford, player of the year: Izaac Little; Sixth Form players’ player: Joseph Boynton, player of the year: Sam Little.