Year 10 student, Abbie has added to her growing collection of awards this week when she was won the Young Volunteer of the Year Award, at the Northamptonshire Sports Awards.
The award, sponsored by Moulton College, recognises individuals who have been actively volunteering in either a school, community organisation or club environment over the past 12 months and have shown leadership qualities and potential for the future.
Abbie regularly demonstrates her leadership qualities at school as part of the Northampton Academy Sports Leaders team, alongside the voluntary leadership work she does working with youngsters at local school, Lings Primary Academy and Overstone Golf Club where her love of golf began.
Abbie was nominated by her former primary school PE teacher and golf mentor, Tom Davies, who also won this award a few years ago and was himself a student at Northampton Academy.
He said in his nomination:
"Abbie has a quiet and approachable demeanor which has enabled her to become the ideal role model for any young person and has allowed her to pass on her vast sporting knowledge to many children across the town. Abbie is a motivational and inspirational young leader, who is always willing to give up her time to provide all children the opportunity to enjoy physical activity. Abbie has been a young leader since she was nine years old and she has continued to devote her time to her current school, her former primary school, and her golf club. This year she has been part of Northampton Academy’s Sports Leaders programme and has had constant young leaders’ training throughout the year. Also, she was named an England Golf Young Ambassador and has taken to this role extremely well, increasing her voluntary hours at the golf club and taking on two other roles at the club."
"Since leaving Lings Primary School Abbie has dedicated 8 hours a week to the school to work with children as young as 5 up to 11-year olds. This equated to approximately 400 hours of voluntary work at Lings Primary alone. Abbie is considered as one of the school's ballroom instructors and gives up her Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings to assist the PE Co-ordinator in delivering the year 1/2, year 3/4 and year 5/6 ballroom clubs, where she teaches on average 70 children. Abbie has also assisted with the training and selection of the school’s ballroom squads this year, which saw them make the Regional Dancing Schools UK Grand Final, with the Year 3/4 Ballroom squad claiming a first-place finish for the first time in the school's history. Abbie even gave up her weekends to support all three ballroom squads at their competitions at the Royal Derngate Theatre by sorting their clothes out and by accompanying them to their competition. Alongside the dance clubs, Abbie has been assisting the PE department at Lings with their KS2 sports club where she leads activities, manages team training and teaching sport-specific skills to over 60 children per week."
"Abbie has been a valuable member of the Lings Primary sports team and has been a major factor in the schools sporting success this year, through her coaching at the school’s sports club. Abbie this year has also been assisting the sports team in delivering the Create Development Real Leaders Programme and is currently using her Young Leaders experience to train the school's 30 young leaders from years 5/6 once a week. As well as actively leading sessions at Lings Abbie has also volunteered her time to assist the sports team with paperwork such as planning and assessments, databasing and evidencing physical activity levels within the school. Abbie also accompanied the Lings Year 3/4 Tri-Golf team to the Level 3 County School Games finals and was able to coach these teams to a first-place finish."
"Abbie is part of Northampton Academy’s Sports Leaders programme and this year alone she has planned, delivered and evaluated events at eight multi-sports festivals across four different days. As part of her Young Leaders training, Abbie has also been used as an official at the Northampton School Sport Level 2 Tri-Golf Competition at Brampton Heath Golf Club. Abbie’s leadership at the event was outstanding and she along with other young leaders from Northampton Academy were selected to lead to the Northamptonshire Level 3 School Games."
Away from school Abbie is a member at Overstone Park Golf Club and has become an experienced golfer at the club. This year she has volunteered her time to the club, assisting the younger and less experienced members to develop and progress at the club. Abbie assists the junior organisers to run the weekly midweek junior roll-ups as well as the Friday Frenzies, where she will either act as a team captain, a caddie or a coach. During these sessions, Abbie teaches the other juniors golfing etiquette, rules or different techniques to help them improve their game. Even in her own group lessons, Abbie can be seen supporting her peers and acts as a coach, helping the less experienced players when the golf professional is working with another junior.
After receiving an England Golf Grant, she was named as an England Golf Trust Young Ambassador, where she is tasked with supporting the development of junior golf at her club as well as promoting the women’s game. Abbie became a club mentor this year and works weekly with three young girls at the club on the practice ground, or the course to develop their skills. As a result of her influence, one has gained her first official handicap (after just 2 months of playing golf), while the other two girls have lowered their handicaps by 12 and 6 shots."
"Last year, Abbie was part of the highly successful Golf Sixes team who were crowned County Champions. This year she has now become a team coach assisting the team manager during weekly training sessions. During these sessions, Abbie will help with team and pair selection, run training drills and warm-ups before playing, as well as caddying on the course. Abbie has been instrumental in the team's success this year and has helped guide the team to the top of the table with one game to play. Abbie is now being considered as the next Junior Club Captain because of her leadership and dedication to developing the younger golfers at the club."
This is not the first award Abbie has won, last year she was won the runner-up awards in both the 'Young Volunteer of the Year' and 'Young Sportswoman of the Year' categories as well as the Overstone Park Ladies 'Most Improved Player' award.
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Abbie tweeted: "Proud to have been named Young Volunteer of the Year at the Northamptonshire Sports Awards. A massive thank you to all the children at Lings Primary School and Overstone Park as you are the reason I do this."
We congratulate Abbie in all her achievements, as she regularly demonstrates our Academy values of Respect, Determination, and Ambition, long may her work continue.