Hard Graft Lays Right Foundation

Sport Studies student James Okello has won high praise at a recent Students’ Award ceremony.

James Okello, aged 21 and who lives in Durham, is a full-time student at East Durham College on Foundation Degree in Sport.

Gill Hulme, the Programme Leader for Sport & Leisure at the College who nominated James for the award, said: “A nicer lad you could not wish to meet. James has been at this college for almost 5 years now. He is one of the nicest students I have every taught in my 36 years in the profession. I would love to have a whole class of James’s.

“He has worked so hard to be where he is today; he is just such a fantastic success story of what real hard effort and work can achieve. He is so pleasant and polite all the time – a real star and thoroughly deserving of this award."

James commented: “I’m so pleased, I’ve never won an award before! I left school with only a couple of GCSEs and started on the BNA Introduction to Sport Level 1. I’d wanted to start on Level 3 but Gill advised me to start on Level 1 but if I got a distinction she’d move me on to the Level 3 BTEC National Diploma in Sport Development and Coaching. I got the distinction!”

James has now progressed on to the Foundation Degree in Sport, which is delivered at the College in partnership with the University of Sunderland. He will then go on for a final year at the University to complete his degree. James would then like to pursue a career as a sports lecturer.

James added: “All the sports lecturers at the College are brilliant, they’re always available to help and they’re very encouraging.”

At the short prize giving ceremony Fred Harrison, Assistant Principal at the College, said: “These awards are not just about recognising academic excellence but also about celebrating student endeavour and commitment, whether that’s a student helping or inspiring others or simply working as hard as they can. All these students are shining examples of that.”

The full list of student award winners for March is:

Foundation Degree (Childcare)        :        Julie Armstrong

Hospitality & Catering                       :           George Parkin

Childcare                                          :              Katie Craggs

Hair and Beauty                               :             Kira Muncaster

Performing Arts                                :            Brodie Daniel Jobson

Tutorial (Joinery)                              :            Thomas Dawson

Sport                                                :              James Okello

Construction                                    :            Tony Little

Land Based                                     :            Melissa Lauder