POMPEY footballer, Jack Whatmough, was among guests presenting awards to celebrate the achievements of schoolchildren in Gosport.
The defender was joined by local dignitaries including Gosport’s mayor, Cllr Kathleen Jones, at the Gosport and Fareham Multi Academy Trust (GFM) second annual awards ceremony.
The former Rowner Junior and Brune Park student presented the Sporting Achievement Award to Jessica Adopho-Pugh, 13, from Gosport.
Jack said: ‘My dad still works at Rowner Junior so I’m back in Gosport a lot of the time seeing my family. I’ve very good memories of both Rowner and Brune Park so I was only too happy to come tonight and give something back to my community and old schools. It’s incredibly important for young people to feel like their hard work and achievements are being recognised. That’s why evenings like tonight are really important.’
Students were presented with awards in categories including contribution to the community and being a good ambassador. There was also a headteachers award for each school as well as a GFM chairman high achievers award and a chief executives’ award, both won by Ryan Bloxsom.
The Bay House sixth form student, 17, said: ‘I was very surprised to win both awards because I didn’t even know I was nominated for one of them. It’s a good feeling to get this recognition.’
Bella Winter, 15, from Gosport, won the Brune Park headteachers award.
She said: ‘I feel truly honoured to win this award. To be recognised means so much. There are so many amazing students at our school so to win is a really a great feeling.’
GFM chief executive, Ian Potter, said: ‘The most pleasing aspect of the evening was that so many of those presenting awards were former students at GFM schools. They had walked along the same path, the same corridors and learnt in the same classrooms as the young people they were helping to celebrate. That’s an incredibly powerful message to give to the young people of this town; if you work hard and have the right attitude there are no limits to what you can achieve.’