Sky Sports Living for Sport Inspirational Student Journey Award
- Fri 30th Jun '17
Name: Wayne Instrell
Athlete Mentor: Maggie Alphonsi
Wayne Instrell, previously a student at Bedford Academy, was awarded the Sky Sports Living for Sport Student of the Year Award for England back in 2012. Wayne had been selected to receive the award due to his incredible transformation after participating in the Sky Sports Living for Sport Scheme in the academic year 2011/12.
Wayne had initially struggled whilst at school, as a result of bullying, he suffered from extremely low self-esteem and low self-confidence. Prior to his involvement in the Sky Sports Living for Sport Project, Wayne had not been participating in mainstream school lessons following the loss of his Father.
Sky Sports Living for Sport Experience
Bedford Academy began a Swimming Project as part of the Sky Sports Living for Sport Scheme. This project was aimed at students from various year groups who could not swim, but also those who had low self-esteem and low self-confidence. The project was designed to show students that they can overcome their fears and use each other as support. Ultimately, the project helped the students gain their feet and believe in themselves as well as giving them an essential life skill – knowing how to swim.
Maggie Alphonsi, Women’s Rugby World Cup Winner, was the Athlete Mentor paired to the project. Wayne immediately connected with Maggie, her warm and friendly nature made him feel at ease, despite his fear of swimming and the water. Wayne passionately engaged with the project and conquered the ability to swim, working incredibly hard throughout the 10 week project.
Despite being a footballer for most of his life, upon meeting Maggie and hearing her inspirational story of overcoming difficult situations, Wayne decided to join a rugby team outside of school. Within school, his success in the Sky Sports Living for Sport project motivated and encouraged him to move back into normal classes – where with his new found confidence, Wayne thrived! He showed consistent hard work and determination to achieve great results in both his GCSEs and A-Levels, which allowed him to go to go on to university.
The Sky Sports Living for Sport Scheme absolutely changed Wayne’s life! Wayne is now training to become a PE teacher at Nottingham Trent University. He continues to use his story to inspire and motivate others, often volunteering his own time at local schools, where he works with, and motivate students with similar backgrounds to achieve their full potential.
Commenting on receiving the Sky Sports Living for Sport Inspirational Student Journey Award, Wayne said, “Thank you for changing both my own and other young people’s lives through the programme over the past 14 years. With the inspirational Athlete Mentors, and the opportunities provided, it wouldn’t have been possible without Sky Sports Living for Sport. It's an absolute privilege to receive such an honour as the Inspirational Student Journey Award.”
Wayne embodies Sky Sports Living for Sport key values. We’re proud to have been part of his incredible journey so far, and we’re excited to see what he will continue to achieve!