New College Leicester has been shortlisted in the national 2022 Education Business Awards, after being recognised for its commitment to sport.
The school, which is located in New Parks, is a finalist in the School Sports Award category and has been recognised for its excellent sporting facilities, external partnerships and making sport accessible for all.
Following significant investment and established community partnerships, more than 2,500 people now using its sports facilities weekly. The school recently secured £750,000 to build a fully lit cycle circuit on the college’s grounds, which was widely publicised. It has since put plans in place to refurbish the schools eight tennis and four netball courts, more great additions to the school’s extensive sporting offer.
Wayne Allsopp, Business Development Manager at New College is the driving force behind the nomination and subsequent shortlist.
“The school’s vision is to make sure that our top-class sporting facilities are available for everyone to use during the school day and beyond,” he said. “To achieve this we’ve established key relationships and bespoke agreements with community friendly sports clubs and hosted numerous high profile sporting events.
“The Gymnastics Centre regularly hosts events, where Olympic champion Max Whitlock has competed on several occasions. Friday evenings are particularly busy too when the Leicester Riders Basketball and Leicester City Football Club Community Trust deliver initiatives to keep young people off the streets and give them opportunities to benefit from sport.”
With more than three decades of experience of working in the sport sector, Business Development Manager, Wayne, is on hand to support the army of volunteers with the numerous tasks associated with running a successful club.
In support of the nomination, former England and Leicester Tigers Rugby Union player, Rory Underwood, MBE, said: “What New College Leicester is striving to achieve is a model of practice that could be duplicated across the country. If every secondary school made available their facilities for the local community to use them then I believe we would go a long way to addressing the health inequalities within some of our more deprived communities.”
New College Leicester also received the backing of local Leicester West MP, Liz Kendall.
“The school serves a community that faces significant levels of social disadvantage, deprivation and child poverty”, she said. “Staff work tirelessly to overcome these barriers and the use of sport and PE has been a particularly effective tool to boost aspiration, promote healthier lifestyles and encouraging parents and the wider community to get involved in the activities of the school.
“Sport is used to help unleash children’s wider talents, showing them if they work hard they can be successful. In other words, it acts as a hook, inspiring students to achieve better results in other subjects. The links New College have created with local primary schools enable this work to begin early, which is crucial to improving the life chance of children in this part of my constituency.”
“At New College Leicester we are extremely proud of our asset-based community development approach”, concluded Mr Allsopp.
“For the vast majority of people who can only dream of participating in an Olympics or a World Cup the school is working hard to make sport accessible for all of them. What Loughborough University is doing for elite sport, New College Leicester is doing for school and community sport and we are proud to have been recognised for that at a national level.”
The shortlisted schools will be represented at an awards luncheon on June 15 at the Royal Garden Hotel, where the winners will be revealed in 18 categories.
For more information about the awards visit: https://awards.educationbusinessuk.net/.