A special awards ceremony took place in Rhondda Sports Centre on Wednesday 19th October to recognise the achievements of MPCT Sports Academy students, one year after the Academy first opened in Tonyrefail.
The centre has proved so popular with local teens that it has now relocated to new premises at Coleg y Cymoedd Rhondda Campus in Tonypandy. It gives 16-19 year olds the chance to gain the qualifications and skills needed for rewarding careers in the sports and active leisure industry.
Awards were handed out for a range of performance-related accomplishments including Most Promising Learner, Players Player and the Essential Skills Award.
Family and friends of the learners were in attendance on the day, alongside a whole host of VIP guests, including the Mayor of Bridgend County Borough Mr Reg Jenkins and his Consort Mrs Teresa Jenkins, Wales Rugby player Rhys Gill, and British boxing champion Liam Williams.
Ryan James, Sports and Recreation Manager at MPCT, comments:
"We are really happy with the impact that MPCT Sports Academy has had this year. Learners and employers alike have responded well to our programme, which is very encouraging for the future growth and development of the Sports Academy.”
“The learners are all fully deserving of their public recognition at the awards ceremony and I am extremely proud of each and every one of them. I firmly believe that everyone who attends the Sports Academy leaves us as a better version of themselves, with the skills and attitude to succeed."
For many of the students celebrating their achievements, they were attracted to the courses on offer at the Sports Academy as they provided an engaging alternative to traditional, classroom-based learning.
Ross Thomas, 18, from Penygraig, achieved the ‘Player’s Player’ award on the day. He says:
“I started sixth form but just really didn’t enjoy it, which is why I came to the Sports Academy. It’s brilliant and allows me to learn practically. I have achieved my level 1 Diploma in Sport and Active Leisure and now I’m going on to complete my level 2 Diploma in Sports Coaching and Gym Instructing. I’m hoping to become a sports coach so this course will lead me there and help me prepare for the future.”
Liam Davies, 18, from Ystrad Rhondda, was the recipient of several awards at the ceremony including the prestigious ‘Most Promising Learner’ award. He comments:
“I was grateful to receive several awards during our award ceremony, and it was great to see our ambassadors there giving up their time to show their support. I’d like to say thank you to Rhys Gill for giving me two tickets to the Cardiff Blues game for achieving most promising student. I have really enjoyed the course and gained from it in lots of ways. I would definitely recommend it to anyone!”
The importance of young people being provided with a range of physical opportunities to improve fitness and good habits has become particularly significant recently, following the publication of a new study by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Fit and Healthy Childhoods. This suggests that Physical Education lessons are not diverse enough, with the group recommending that each individual child should receive a personalised PE programme and a wider choice of activity options to encourage increased engagement in physical activity.
MPCT as an organisation wants to inspire young people to be more active in a range of ways to, enable them to have successful careers while reaching their maximum fitness and health levels.