Winners announced in the 2020 Active School Hero
November 30th: P.E Co-Ordinator Reon Thomas and Pastoral Manager Gemma Spiers have been announced by Marathon Kids’ partner Nike and UK Active as the two winners of the 2020 Active School Hero Award in London and Birmingham respectively.
The initiative was designed to recognise and celebrate the achievements of primary school heroes in getting children active, including those involved in the Marathon Kids programme.
Thomas, one of 32 London finalists, created his ‘boys to men’ club which helps build boys’ self-esteem, courage and discipline and address any problems they may have in and around school. He also worked tirelessly through the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the kids at Wembley Primary School were engaged and active during lockdown.
‘I am so overwhelmed to be the Active School Hero for winner for London, it is such a great award and my school are so proud. Active School Hero has shown me that the work I do is important. I really try to make a positive change in every child I inspire but I have to say this win is not just down to me it has been a partnership between myself and the deputy head, and the whole school itself. This is a life changing moment for me and I am looking forward to what the future and this award will bring for the kids at Wembley Primary,’ he said.
Spiers – from Paget Primary School in Erdington – was one of 10 Birmingham finalists and uses physical activity as a means of motivating and focusing on her students with greater needs. She has instilled her endless enthusiasm for physical activity in the children and staff at Paget, and has delivered a whole school approach to getting children from reception to year 6 active, whether it is in the classroom or outside.
‘I am speechless, I really didn’t expect to be Birmingham’s first Active School Hero, but I am so grateful. Active School Hero has shown me how much the passion I have put into improving Paget sport and PE has been appreciated, and the impact I have been able to have on both the kids and parents at my school. This has been an amazing experience for the whole school, especially in the current context of COVID restrictions, and I am so happy to be able to provide the kids at Paget with more opportunities to be active,’ she said.
The awards ceremony took place virtually this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and included the 10 area winners from Birmingham and 32 Borough winners from London alongside a Q&A with Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and Nike track and field hurdler Jessie Knight.
‘As both a primary school teacher and professional athlete, I’m incredibly proud to support the Active School Hero initiative,’ said Knight.