Tanya Proves Early Bird Catches The Worm

Tanya Shires commitment to college life is exceptional to say the least and this was just one of the reasons she recently picked up a student award at East Durham College.

Tanya is up every day at 5.15am to travel from Newton Aycliffe to study on a Sports Studies course at East Durham College’s Peterlee Campus. And due to extra curriculum commitments she’s not home until 9pm some evenings.

Tanya, who is 18, was desperate to study at East Durham College after playing for the College’s development football teams from the age of 12. She was therefore thrilled to get a place and join the College’s prestigious Female Football Development Centre, coached by ex-professional footballer Stuart Brightwell.

Stuart Brightwell said: “She never lets me or her team mates down, she attends all the training and works really hard on her game. She’s always one of the first names on the team sheet.”

Her Lecturer Craig Shields added: “Tanya is very deserving of this Student of the Month award. She is a pleasure to teach, always meeting deadlines and working extremely hard to achieve the best grades possible.

“Tanya always uses feedback to upgrade her work and shows a genuine interest in lessons. Her attitude and application are superb and will stand her in good stead for the future.”

As well as her College commitments Tanya is also putting her time back into junior football. She volunteers one evening a week to coach a local junior girls’ team in Peterlee - and then using public transport gets all the way up to Sunderland from Aycliffe to manage the teams competitive games every Saturday morning.

To be involved in any junior sports club, National Governing Bodies insist that coaches have the right accreditations. Sports Development Officer Rose Fraser explains: “Tanya has just completed her Level 1 Coaching Certificate and Emergency First Aid and Safe Guarding Children course to allow her to pursue her voluntary coaching role.

“This is an exceptional achievement for a student, she is a great role model for young people of the future.”