Girls Active National Award for Ella Gutteridge

Nov 16, 2020




Izzy Stansfield, Sophia Watt and Ella Gutteridge were all shortlisted for the ‘Girls Active’ Influencer Award, a National Award recognising the impact the girls have on their PE curriculum and school sport.  The Youth Sports Trust Girls Active Awards are a celebration of the work girls are championing nationally; last year Leah Sibley from  Vandyke School was shortlisted, so to have 3 girls shortlisted this year is superb!

The 2020 Girls Active and YST Young Activist Awards were held virtually this year on Tuesday 3rd November which Ella, Sophia and Izzy watched at Vandyke together with members of the PE Department and parents. Online, watching from home were proud friends, family and their nominators Steve Wareham (Fulbrook) and Lorraine Holmes (Gilbert Inglefield). The Awards were hosted by Olympian and Sports Broadcaster Jeanette Kwakye, with a presentation by none other than Olympian, Broadcaster and Patron of Women in Sport – Becky Adlington OBE.

Ella Gutteridge was recognised for her achievements and awarded for her efforts in tackling the issues of a generation, winning first place in the Influencer Award Category. This award recognises someone who has persuaded and encouraged non-active peers to get active, changed perceptions about sport and physical activity and influenced decision makers to take on a new approach. Ella has been playing rugby for about two years. Rugby had such an impact on her own self-confidence that she decided she wanted to share this with other girls.  Ella created a girls’ rugby club in school helping to coach and recruit new girls. The club grew from a small selection of friends to a regular attendance of 15-20 girls. Her patience and resilience were qualities that stood out to the judges.

Head of PE at Vandyke, Mr Turney, commented. “All of the girls are truly deserving and have demonstrated passion and commitment for activating change not just for themselves, but for others around them. There is compelling evidence that young people who volunteer and take part in physical activity develop critical social skills for employment and adulthood. Congratulations Ella on such a great achievement.”

Nicky Ward, who co-ordinates the Girls Active programme on behalf of the Leighton-Linslade School Sports Partnership said,  Girls Active is as much about getting young people active as it is about harnessing young people’s talents and encouraging them to make a difference to others both in and through sport.  Research around barriers to girls participating in physical activity and sport tells us that one of the best ways to engage girls is through encouragement from their peers – and that is exactly what Girls Active is about. All of our schools have embraced this programme and have positively engaged more girls in extra-curricular clubs. To date, the clubs have recognised some incredible achievements of girls as positive peer influencers and we look forward to recruiting more young women of the future.”

 For more information about Girls Active/This Girls Can/Mums to Coach initiatives please contact Nicky Ward from Leighton-Linslade School Sports Partnership on


Post by Angela