Olympian Sharron Davies hands out awards at Tollbar Academy presentation evening
FORMER Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies handed out the awards at Tollbar Academy's annual presentation evening.
The swimmer turned TV presenter was the special guest as the Academy celebrated its students' achievements with a ceremony at Grimsby Auditorium.
Prior to the awards ceremony, Sharron, who won a silver medal at the 1980 Olympics, as well as two golds at the 1978 Commonwealth Games, was given a whistle-stop tour of the Academy's indoor sporting facilities – and described them as "the best she had ever seen" in a state school.
Under the theme, Opportunity And What You Make Of It, more than 200 awards were handed out for achievements in a range of subjects and sports.
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Former Year 11 student, Dassia Benefer, who missed months of school after a serious throat operation, achieved some of the best GCSE results of the summer and took home the Chief Executive's Special Award and Best GCSE Results and Value Added Performance for her progress.
Academy CE David Hampson presented the award to her. He said: "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."
Dassia, who is now completely recovered from the toxic adenoma on her thyroid, is studying A-levels at Tollbar Sixth Form College.
She said: "I really didn't expect this. It was a difficult time and I had to have work sent home to study, but the teachers gave me so much support all the way through and I am very grateful to them."
Rebecca Hepworth, 13, received the Bennett Trophy for Success Over Adversity.
Rebecca suffers from a chronic neuropathic condition which means she has to use a walking frame and wheelchair.
She said: "I am proud of myself tonight because sometimes, it is hard."
Luke Swallow was the top male GCSE student and value added winner.
Tollbar Academy Principal Stephen Moon told students: "Most of us don't get the opportunity to do the impossible, but we can make a difference for ourselves. "However shy or lacking in confidence we are we need to make the most of the chances we get. It is very important you can look back and say you did your best and took chances in life."
Sharron met students working out in the gym, cheerleaders rehearsing their dance moves, and the school's basketball team.
She said: "The sports facilities are just incredible. The gym is probably the best I have seen in a school anywhere in the country, and the kids are really appreciative of the facilities that they've got."
Paul Donnelly, curriculum leader for PE, said: "In the last year or so we have had quite a significant refurbishment of our sporting facilities, which shows the level of importance that the Academy places on PE.
"It was a great opportunity to show Sharron around the PE department and it was nice for the students to have their achievements recognised by an Olympic athlete."
Entertainment was provided by the musical students, including: Tollbar Chamber Strings, Tollbar Band, the Year 11 Contemporary Dance Group, pianist Charlie Towl and Tom Coyne on guitar.