Two Manchester students have been singled out for national recognition for turning around their confidence, behaviour and attitude to school with the help of their teacher and a national children’s charity.

Manchester-based Arman Tandon, 12, and Lucas Banks, 13, found a renewed sense of self-confidence and a sense of belonging in school when they were selected to take part in the Youth Sport Trust Boys Move programme which helps to support boys' mental wellbeing, particularly those struggling with the transition from primary to secondary school.

Overcoming initial difficulties in forming relationships, they found friendship and support in each other through boxing. Their improved emotional resilience and well-being demonstrate the positive impact of sports which is why they were selected to take home the Greatest Turnaround Through Sport award at the Youth Sport Trust Young Changemaker Awards held at St Ermin’s Hotel in Westminster.

On winning their award, Lucas said: “We were so excited and very happy when we found out we won. We became friends in the sports group because we were partners a lot.

The boys’ PE teacher from Manchester Academy, Mr Dillon added: “Their transition from Year 6 to Year 7 was overwhelming for them and this programme helped them gain an identity within the school.

“They’re both brilliant and amazing lads and when they come in together, they bounce off each other.”

Arman said: “He’s the best teacher ever, he’s always kind and helped us through the times. We’ve learnt to never give up on hard things and to learn to keep encouraging people if they don’t overcome something at first.”

The Youth Sport Trust Young Changemaker Awards recognise young people from across the UK and internationally who’ve worked alongside the charity to use the power of Sport and Play, to make a real impactful change to their lives and the lives of others.

A host of sporting stars presented awards to the seven winners including Dame Katherine Grainger, the first British woman to win medals at five successive Olympic games and seven-time Paralympic Champion Hannah Cockroft OBE, among a star-studded guest list.

Arman and Lucas received their award from Olympic gold medallist Duncan Goodhew MBE who also co-founded the charity back in 1995. In response to their story Duncan said: “Sometimes we aren’t dealt a good hand and we have challenges that we have to overcome as human beings. Society and social groups put barriers in your way.

“These young lads have used sport as a way to break a barrier and integrate better and become more confident.

“When you see that, it’s really heart-warming to understand that people can change the hand they’ve been dealt and they can make a difference, and it’s through sport that we do that.”

You can find out more about each of the winners and view their winners’ films on the Youth Sport Trust website here.

The Young Changemaker Awards were preceded by an announcement earlier in the day that Sir Mo Farah has partnered with the charity as their new National School Sport Champion. Together, the Youth Sport Trust and Sir Mo launched Mo’s Mission to ensure that all young people are active in line with the UK Chief Medical Officer’s recommended minimum of ‘60 minutes a day - of PE, Sport and Play’.

Mo’s Mission is underpinned by the Youth Sport Trust’s new manifesto for change which sets out five key recommendations to create a nation of active and well schools which give every child the chance to be active for at least 60 minutes day.

You can read more about Mo’s Mission and the Youth Sport Trust manifesto here.