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Former tennis pro Jade Windley celebrates sporting success of academy pupils

Pupils at The Nicholas Hamond Academy (TNHA) in Swaffham, part of Academy Transformation Trust, have had their outstanding sport achievements honoured by former professional tennis player Jade Windley at the academy’s annual Sport Awards evening.

52 awards were given to individuals and teams for exceptional progress and performance in a wide range sports over the past academic year. The winners were chosen by the academy’s PE staff led by Head of PE Mark Lloyd. Sports are a key part of life at TNHA where 58% of pupils have participated in extra-curricular sporting activities this year.

Guest presenter, former British tennis player Jade Windley presented awards to TNHA pupils and shared her journey to becoming a professional tennis player, including fulfilling her childhood dream of competing in The Championships at Wimbledon. In her message to pupils, Jade offered words of support and motivation to encourage pupils to fulfil their ambitions and be the best they can be. Jade, who has won 19 professional titles on the ITF tour during her career, reached British Women’s Singles Ranking of 5 and British Women’s Doubles Ranking of 3 in 2014. Jade visited the academy in her capacity as an Athlete Mentor for Sky Sports Living for Sport.

Year 11 student Owen Williams was awarded The TNHA Sports Person of the Year 2017 award for his ability in a range of sports and his exceptional attitude towards learning. Owen is studying GCSE PE and has represented the academy in various sports including rugby, football, badminton and basketball.  Owen is also a Sports Leader working with PE staff to help organise events and working with the primary cluster school pupils. Owen commented: “It was a nice surprise and I am happy and proud to receive such a prestigious award.”

The awards event highlights the continuing sporting success of TNHA pupils and teams who compete in several disciplines. Pupils have been chosen to represent West Norfolk at Badminton; and qualified to represent the West Norfolk Athletics Team in the Norfolk Schools Games. Ten pupils from TNHA were selected to be in the West Norfolk Cross Country Team. In table tennis, pupils from the academy have won the mixed KS3 & KS4 tournaments between local schools. In badminton the KS4 girls team won the West Norfolk event.

Jade Windley commented: “It was a pleasure to present the awards and be part of such a fantastic evening at TNHA, celebrating the inspiring sporting success of the students and teachers involved. Through the amazing Sky Sports Living for Sport programme, I was lucky enough not only to attend this awards evening but also to spend a day at TNHA late last year, where I ran a ‘six keys to success’ workshop with selected students. The brilliant PE staff also organised some fun tennis masterclass sessions which I ran in front of different year groups; this was a great way to reach out to lots of students and ensure that everyone was involved. I really hope to visit TNHA again in the future.”

Martin Booth, Acting Principal at The Nicholas Hamond Academy commented: “Congratulations to all our pupils who have earned recognition of their commitment and effort in excelling in sports. I am proud that so many of our pupils are involved in sports and that our PE staff offer such a wide range of exciting opportunities to help pupils develop their talents and reach their full potential. On behalf of everyone at TNHA, I would like to say a huge thank you to Jade for her words of encouragement and for the time she has taken to help our pupils to be the best they can be.”

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