SPORTS AWARDS: Sporting stars are pride of RGS

Top performing RGS athletics stars shone on stage at a glittering Sports Awards ceremony, where Team GB cyclist Abi Smith and England karate coach Ady Gray gave out the prizes in front of a packed hall, filled with parents, civic dignitaries, governors and staff. Photographs by BOB MCLENNAN

Leading the field were Isaac Henson, triple Yorkshire champ in shot put, discus and 100m hurdles and Northern regional champ in javelin, and Georgie Borchard, captain of the highly successful U18 girls' hockey team and netball and gymnastics star Georgie Borchard, who were awarded Outstanding Sports Persons of the Year.

More than 60 high -performing students across a wide range of sports from athletics to basketball, cycling, cricket, equestrian, football, golf, hockey, netball, rounders, rugby, running and swimming were presented with awards, including the U18 hockey and inter boys' cross country teams, who triumphed in Team of the Year categories.

Organiser, PE teacher Helen Mackenzie, praised Abi and Ady for taking time out of their hectic schedules to attend: "It is ambassadors of sport like Abi and Ady who help inspire and motivate our young people to be the best they can be.”

Team GB cyclist Abi Smith welcomed the chance to return to her old school: "It is so lovely to be back. It seems like the sporting prowess has done nothing but grow since I was here, and also the range of sports and level of competition students have achieved."

The 20-year-old,  who left RGS in 2020, added: "Sport plays a huge part in the school's identity. I will admit, I'm still waiting for that velodrome to be built... but in the meantime, it's wonderful to hear about students excelling in their sports and seeing my teachers be as competitive and enthusiastic as ever."

England Karate Head Coach and UK coaching ambassador Ady Gray said he was honoured to be invited to the awards: "It is great to see so many kids enjoying sport and achieving such high standards. The amount of talent, both individually and in teams, across so many sports is very encouraging.

"The benefits of sport both physically and mentally is immeasurable and it's great to see not just the talent but also the well-rounded, confident and happy sporting students proud to represent themselves and their school.

"Strip away the medals or the final position, sport should create good people, and what I am witnessing at these awards is well-focused, well-mannered good people.

"As an ambassador for UK Coaching, I also see the standard and dedication of all the coaches and teachers from RGS. They are great role models for the kids and deserve a lot of praise for the standards in sport that they are coaching."

Mrs Mackenzie said the whole PE department was inordinately proud to host the event to applaud, acknowledge and appreciate the time and commitment students put in throughout the year to training, fixtures and coaching others and to reward the sporting prowess and excellence of teams and individuals.

"It is the students' skill, flair, dedication and commitment to training that deem a Sports Awards Evening necessary. And thank you to parents, too, for all their support."

The RGS Dixie Band and singer Holly Maisey performed during the evening.