Swimming legend Sharron Davies was on hand at the annual Tollbar Academy’s presentation evening to dish out the awards. The former Olympic silver medallist was booked through Prime Performers as special guest for the event at Grimsby Auditorium, which honours its students’ efforts and achievements throughout the year. The evening saw over 200 awards dished out to pupils for triumphs across a variety of subjects and sports. One of the most notable recipients was former Year 11 student, Dassia Benefer, who overcame a serious throat operation to attain excellent GCSE results. Even though she missed several months of school, Dassia, who has now fully recovered, achieved some of the best GCSE results for the year. Her feat was recognized by Tollbar Academy CE David Hampson:
"Despite a debilitating condition, Dassia was resolute in achieving her GCSEs and refused to give in. She is a credit to herself, her family and Tollbar Academy."
For her efforts Dassia, who stayed on at Tollbar Sixth Form College to study A-levels, was awarded the Chief Executive’s Special Award and Best GCSE Results and Value Added Performance. Another standout effort was from Rebecca Hepworth, who has to use a wheelchair and walking frame due to a chronic neuropathic condition. Rebecca was awarded the Bennett Trophy for Success Over Adversity and had this to say of her achievement:
"I am proud of myself tonight because sometimes, it is hard."
I am sure that you will all agree that it is somewhat of an understated self-assessment of the challenges that Rebecca faces in her everyday life. Former swimmer turned TV presenter, Davies, was given a guided tour of the Tollbar Academy, before acting as guest speaker at the ceremony. The tour gave her the opportunity to have a chat with students and also take a look at the new gym facilities, which she described as ‘the best she had ever seen’ in a state school. Davies also took to Twitter to thank everyone involved in the evening:
Cool kids at Tollbar Academy tonight, well done teachers, governors and CEO, thank u for the invite — sharron davies (@sharrond62) November 30, 2012
It certainly sounded like a great evening, with plenty of extraordinary pupils rightly being recognised for their special achievements. Who knows – maybe there is a future Olympic medallist amongst them?