Jack Petchey Award


Panathlon Jack Petchey Outstanding Young Sports Leader of the Year 2017

Wednesday 16th November saw the Panathlon Jack Petchey Outstanding Achievement Awards take place at the Olympic Suite of John Lewis, Stratford.

This year’s Jack Petchey Outstanding Young Leader Award went to SPA past pupil Lora Umelue (Class of 2017).  Lora, now 17, is described by Miss Duffy, our Sports Leader and vInspired Volunteer Co-Ordinator at St Paul’s as “our driving force”.  During her time at St Paul’s Academy, Lora was a health and well-being ambassador and sports leader, helping to deliver physical activity sessions to her peers during our weekly health and well-being club.

Lora also demonstrated a tireless drive and support for every enterprise initiative at SPA, often being the person behind the very concept and idea of the numerous fundraising events she was involved in.  These included our 2017 Rowathon in aid of the mental health charity Mind, as well as our very first Race for Life event in aid of Cancer Research UK involving 400 pupils which raised £3,000 and saw Lora train pupils and organise fundraising activities also.

Lora helped deliver the SportInspired Community Games Festival for the last two years, which saw over 200 children with special educational needs across numerous local primary schools take part each year.  Before this, she attended training courses to enable her to help pupils compete in boccia, new-age kurling, polybat, tri-golf, athletics, dance and many more events.  Lora used these learned skills to help deliver Panathlon multisport competitions at St Paul’s for the last two years. 

 Lora’s aim is to study medicine at university and become a doctor in Nigeria, the birthplace of her parents in order to help improve the country’s healthcare system.  

On receiving her award, Lora said: “I was delighted to get the opportunity to train as a Panathlon leader.  We learned about all the sports, about non-verbal communication and how to use your body language in the best way to offer encouragement to the athletes.

“Being a Young Leader at the competitions was really interesting; being given the opportunity to work with disabled children, putting smiles on their faces, and excel at sport.  It’s a great way of including a wide range of abilities.  Sport is a language that everyone can speak.” 

Lora was selected as the recipient of this award out of 2,000 young leaders across London. This is a truly magnificent achievement and well deserved recognition for all of Lora’s dedication to volunteering and hard work.  Everyone at St Paul’s Academy would like to extend their congratulations to Lora on winning this prestigious accolade and wish her every success in all of her future endeavours.  Well done Lora on continuing to make us proud!

Miss Duffy