Skip to Content


Junior Academy Sports Leaders Celebration 2019

Junior Academy Sports Leaders in the Great Hall undertaking resilience training.

On Tuesday 19 November 2019, Queen’s Junior Academy welcomed Sports Leaders from Bangor Academy, Dromore High School, Hazelwood Integrated College and Shimna Integrated College to celebrate their achievements in earning Sports Leaders Level 1 Qualifications in Sports Leadership.

The cohort had also included 6 fantastic pupils from Strangford Integrated College who were unfortunately unable to attend the Celebration Event, but who were fondly remembered and missed by all on the day.

To earn the qualification, pupils had participated in a series of challenges during the period of January – June 2019, including completing written assignments and communication and teamwork challenges. Sports leadership skills were developed by delivering sports sessions to their peers throughout the programme, and finally put to the test in the planning and delivery of a PE class at school.

The 2019 candidates acquitted themselves admirably of the challenges, with unwavering commitment and good humour, and the team at Queen’s were delighted to welcome them back to the Great Hall to acknowledge their successes.

As part of the Celebration Event, the newly qualified sports leaders had the opportunity to participate in Resilience Training designed by the Social Mobility Business Partnership.

The day kicked off with a rousing motivational talk by Ulster Rugby’s Chris Shiels, who armed pupils with techniques for occupying the ‘green zone’ of stimulation and productivity when in high-pressure situations.

Queen’s Outreach Officers Patricia Hampson and Grace Heatley led pupils in resilience-building workshops and exercises, including group reflections on the cases of well-known sports figures such as Serena Williams and Lionel Messi, and how these athletes have displayed resilience in the face of adversity throughout their careers.

After having had a group discussion about their own career aspirations, pupils had the opportunity to hear first-hand about the career trajectory of Bill Wolsey, Managing Director of the Beannchor Group (including the 5-star Merchant Hotel).

The special guest speaker gave a generous and thought-provoking account of his journey to success, warmly encouraging the young sports leaders and giving genuine and helpful advice relevant both to their current stage of life and to future plans and decisions.

The pupils were presented with their Sports Leaders certificates; an SMBP training certificate; goodie bags (including new Queen’s schoolbags, to the delight of those pupils whose own schoolbags had already been showing the strain of their Year 11 studies); and a special Spirit of Leadership award for 3 pupils who had exhibited particularly outstanding leadership qualities throughout the programme.

The Great Hall buffet lunch was reported to have been even better than pizza – a fitting feast for such an important occasion! Although pupils had to dodge the rainfall when making their way to buses and taxis, they were well-fed at least, returning to school laden down with certificates and prizes.


Junior Academy Sports Leaders Celebration Event 2019 Images