This week, Martin Cook – a teacher at Livability’s school for young disabled people – has been awarded PE Teacher of the Year at the second annual Daily Echo Schools Awards.
From hundreds of nominations, three were shortlisted in each of the 11 categories and the winners were announced at a gala dinner and awards ceremony.
Martin is a senior physical activity assistant at Livability Victoria Education Centre and was nominated by colleagues who said:
‘He is respected and loved by staff and students alike for his unerring sense of fun and his passion to see that every child is included in whatever is going on. He has fostered relationships with outside agencies to enhance and expand the experiences of the students. He is the fun behind our hectic and mad Sports Day. The students all love him, as do the staff, and we are all wondering what he’ll manage to organise next.’
Based in Poole, Victoria offers specialised, high quality education, therapy and care for young people with physical and learning disabilities aged between 3 and 19. Within Victoria’s vibrant and innovative community, students are enabled to develop life skills to prepare them for life beyond education.
Martin Cook said:
‘This award shows what the greater community thinks of Victoria. To be nominated in the first place was a shock, but to get to the last three and win was beyond belief. The night was full of some amazing people full of great deeds and commitment to education and young people’s lives.
‘I was representing the whole PE Team and Victoria as a whole. I took great delight in telling people what the department is up to with Sports Week and residential trips, like the upcoming NASA trip for Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award.
‘It may have been my night but the award is for the whole team.’
Simon Brown, Headteacher for Victoria Education Centre, said:
‘This is a fantastic achievement for Martin and the PE department. The award recognises Martin’s outstanding dedication to sport and physical activity and how he works tirelessly to engage with students across all abilities and physical activity interests, both in and out of curriculum time.
‘Thank you to all who support the high quality PE provision at Victoria and for the incredible work going on to encourage our students to be active and enjoy sport.’