Double gold for Ipswich school

YOUNGSTERS at Beacon Hill Special School in Ipswich are celebrating after winning double gold.The school has been awarded an Activemark Gold and Sportsmark Gold – and, appropriately, gold medal-winning swimmer Gemma Dashwood went along to the school to present the plaques.

YOUNGSTERS at Beacon Hill Special School in Ipswich are celebrating after winning double gold.

The school has been awarded an Activemark Gold and Sportsmark Gold – and, appropriately, gold medal-winning swimmer Gemma Dashwood went along to the school to present the plaques.

Sport England made the two awards in recognition of how much work the school puts into sport and physical activity and how much the children have achieved.

"Very few schools in the country have been awarded both Sportsmark Gold and Activemark Gold," said delighted headteacher David Stewart.

"This does huge credit not only to the children who are here now and the kids who went before, but also to everyone in the team who work so hard to make PE so exciting in this school."

He added that it was important to concentrate on children's abilities and encourage them.

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At Beacon Hill, sports range from football to basketball, tennis, badminton, gymnastics, rounders and swimming.

Mr Stewart paid special tribute to the hard work of PE co-ordinator Margaret Nicholls, who was presented with a special cake and flowers to mark the occasion.

"This is really recognition for the children," said Mrs Nicholls.

Gold medallist Gemma, 24, is originally from Australia, but now lives in England. She told the youngsters how she won gold for her country at the Sydney Paralympics, cheered on by her family and friends.

She explained that she only has full use of one leg because the other was damaged by a disease when she was a young child – and this was one reason why her mother encouraged her to take up swimming.

"It's not just winning that's important – if you try your very best, you will never disgrace yourself," she said.

Chris Cutforth, senior development manager for Sport England, and Helen Robson, who works for PNP Consultancy, also visited the school to mark its achievement.

PNP sponsors the Sporting Champions scheme, which arranges for sports stars like Gemma to visit schools and work with children.

WEBLINK

www.sportengland.org

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