Sporty youngsters who encouraged others to get fit and active have been praised by Graham Cregeen MHK, Minister for Education and Children.
Forty-two 16-year-olds signed up for the Sure Sports Leader Programme last summer.
They attended a week-long camp, receiving training in coaching skills, safeguarding and protecting children, emergency first aid, teaching and disability inclusion.
They were then mentored over the summer by qualified and experienced Manx Sport and Recreation (MSR) coaches.
Since September, they have honed their coaching skills as volunteers at MSR activities, clubs and schools, recording their hours in logbooks.
Between them, the young people gave up 1,529 hours at events and schemes MSR runs for children.
Minister Cregeen said:
‘Our Strategy for Sport encourages people into an active lifestyle from an early age, with all the benefits it brings.
‘Activity improves physical, mental and social wellbeing and prevents problems down the line that can be costly for individuals and society.
‘Through the Sure Sports Leader Programme, young people with an interest in sport encourage those even younger than them to get and stay active.
‘They also acquire skills that will boost their CVs and chances of a career in sport, if they want to pursue that route.
‘I congratulate the young people for their work and thank Sure Isle of Man for its year-round commitment to encouraging young people to take up and enjoy sport and adopt a healthy lifestyle.’
Sure presents awards annually and in the autumn and spring term to the young people who give up the most time.
Overall winner in 2016/17 was George Dickinson, who attends St Ninian’s High School. He completed nearly 100 hours as a volunteer on top of exams and other commitments.
George was today presented with an iPad by Sarah Jarvis, Marketing and PR Manager with Sure Isle of Man.
He will be invited onto the stage at the 2017 Isle of Man Sports Awards to receive a trophy marking his commitment.
Ashleigh Lachenicht, a student at University College Isle of Man, volunteered for 75 hours during the spring term, and received a £100 Sure voucher in recognition of this.
Kirsten Vickery, of Ramsey Grammar School, completed 73.5 hours and received a £75 Sure voucher. George Dickinson received a £50 voucher for the 72.5 hours he committed that term.
Sarah Jarvis said:
‘I am always amazed to learn just how much time and effort the young Sports Leaders put in, every minute of which helps to promote sport and teamwork for children on the Island.
‘It’s even more amazing when you consider that these young people are usually in sixth form and, at a hectic period in life, they still find time to devote to activities that truly make a difference to their community.
‘I am immensely proud that Sure supports the Sports Leaders programme and I wish all the volunteers every success for the future.’
For more information on the 2017/18 Sure Sports Leader Programme, contact Sam Caine, Community Sports Development Officer, via Sam.Caine@gov.im or 01624 688557.