The annual Islington School Sports & Sport Islington Awards Ceremony was held on July 11th at Islington Assembly Hall.
The awards ceremony kicked off with guest speaker Nadia Jersey, who is a water-skier who performs on the European stage. Nadia is a former Sport Islington grant recipient.
The first part of the awards itself was the Islington School Sports Awards and several awards were handed out across a range of different categories.
The winner of the Special School Athlete of the Year was Tinashe Chabikwa from Samuel Rhodes School. Tinashe has represented Arsenal’s disability side on three occasions. Once within the London FA youth tournament, once against Norwich and once for Arsenal in Switzerland at a social inclusion festival and tournament against teams from England and around the world such as Liverpool, Chelsea, Man City, and Real Madrid. James Cresser, one of his sports coaches at Samuel Rhodes school, put Tinashe forward for the award and said this about Tinashe, “He is an amazing young person with a moderate learning disability. He shows commitment to his football, attending the after school club with Arsenal, and also their community session on Friday evenings every week. He has been rewarded for his commitment by getting the opportunity to represent Arsenal. He also plays for his school team. He has a great personality and is a role model to his peers, and even to myself as his coach. He is always happy and smiling, and very supportive of his peers and team mates, sharing with them the football whatever their ability or disability, a real team player”.
Tinashe receiving his award from Islington Mayor, Kat Fletcher
After the school awards had finished, Helen Sudall from the Joanna Brown Trust shared the moving story of how the Joanna Brown Trust came to be formed and also shared some of the great work that the trust has been doing recently. She then kindly presented the Sport Islington Award Winners with their awards.
Sport Islington Sportswomen of the Year went to Lily Mills. Lily has achieved outstanding success during the past year. She has been promoted to the First Division of the Learning Disability Tennis Tournaments run by the Tennis Foundation. Out of the five tournaments she entered she won three gold medals in the Ladies Singles, as well as taking gold and silver in the Mixed Doubles. As a result of these extremely impressive results, Lily has been selected by the Tennis Foundation to represent North London in the Special Olympics in 2017. This is a significant achievement considering that Lily has only been competing in tournaments for two and half years. More recently Lily has shown her drive and determination to succeed and move beyond her ‘comfort-zone’ by competing in mainstream match plays in order to enhance her skills, experience and confidence. During her first tournament she won three out of four match plays against girls her own age and older. In her nomination for the award, the following words were shared “The results Lily has achieved have been phenomenal but beyond this the increase in her self-confidence, social skills and self-esteem have made her a more independent, self-reliant and happy young person”.
Lily receiving her award from Helen Sudall from the Joanna Brown Trust