A middle school in Leighton Buzzard has been acknowledged for their commitment to providing a curriculum where sport is integral to pupil learning.

Brooklands Middle School in Bedfordshire was highly commended in the Outstanding Primary Practice category at the Youth Sport Trust 2024 Conference Awards, sponsored by Sports Directory and The LEGO Group.

The award, sponsored by The LEGO Group, recognises primary schools that have used PE, sport and play to build a foundation for learning through prioritising the health and happiness of its young people. 

The Youth Sport Trust is the UK’s leading children’s charity improving every young person’s education and development through sport.

Director of sport, health and wellbeing at the school Michelle Tipper said: “It’s a whole school event, it’s not just the PE team, it’s the whole school down to everybody.

“We couldn’t do it without the parents and certainly not the pupils either so it’s down to a whole school effort.”

Pupil Eden Hays, 12, who picked up the Inspirational Inclusive Leader prize at the Youth Sport Trust Young Changemaker Awards earlier in the year said: “Sport is the core subject for me.

“It has played a huge part in my life; Brooklands include me in everything and adapt it.

“I’m so inspired being surrounded by everyone tonight who make a massive difference to a lot of children’s lives.”

Reigning heptathlon world champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson was also in attendance to recognise those who have gone above and beyond from across the country.

The 31-year-old also sat down for a keynote speaker session and shared advice and anecdotes from her athlete career.

She said: “It’s been a really great evening and event.

“Sport is what I do and how I’ve been brought up through youth development and all the competitions that I did through this organisation as a kid.

“It’s nice to be here and giving back and it’s great to hear so many inspiring stories.

“I don’t know who I am without sport and that came from PE lessons doing high jump when I was younger.

“From that young age, I found an identity through it where I was known for being good at something.”

More than 120 nominations were received from across the seven categories, and judging panels of experts reviewed the shortlisted entries to decide the finalists.

Youth Sport Trust Chief Executive Ali Oliver added: “There have been so many incredibly worthy nominees for the various awards.

“I’m so excited about all the innovation and tremendous practice that is going on across the country to build brighter futures for young people through the power of sport.”

The Youth Sport Trust Annual Conference Awards celebrate schools, settings, trusts, and individuals who, working alongside Youth Sport Trust, have made a real and impactful change to the lives of young people. Find out how the Youth Sport Trust is building brighter futures for children through sport and play.