Student wins sports accolade

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A teenager, who was the victim of bullying and lost his dad suddenly last year, has been named the regional Sport Student of the year by Sky Sports Living.

Wayne Instrell, who attends Bedford Academy, has won the award for the East of England after he got involved with the Sky Sports Living swimming project at the school.

16-year-old Wayne was having difficulty in school and was no longer participating in mainstream lessons due to bullying, and was struggling emotionally to deal with the sudden death of his dad.

Wayne said: ““I was really surprised to be chosen for this award and feel very proud to represent Bedford Academy at the award ceremony in March.

“The Sky Sports programme has had a huge impact on my life and my advice for anyone else thinking of taking up a sport or skill that they’ve never learnt before is that it is never too late, and with hard work and determination you can achieve much more than you might ever think you can.”

20 teenagers, aged 14 to 17, from Bedford Academy were provided with swimming classes to help them learn to swim following a school-wide survey to identify students who could not swim at all.

Wayne will now go forward to the final to be named overall Sports Student of the Year

Headteacher Claire Smith: “Wayne should feel tremendously proud of his achievement in being recognised as one of the stars of the Sky Sports Living for Sport competition.

“Everyone at Bedford Academy will be supporting him at the final in February, and I am looking forward to continuing to work with the Sky Sports team to give our students even more opportunities to develop their confidence in and outside the world of sport.”