Olympic athlete seeks teaching gold

Jack Green in action for the Great Britain 400m relay team

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An Olympic athlete wants to celebrate the work of school staff promoting physical, mental and emotional well-being among children.

Team GB sprint star Jack Green has thrown his weight behind the Kent and Sussex Teacher of the Year Awards.

He said stress presented a significant barrier to children’s well-being and success.

And when it comes to overcoming obstacles, the 27-year-old is very much an expert.

Not only does he represent Great Britain in the 400m and the 400m hurdles, he also successfully battled depression earlier in his career.

Now, as well as representing his county on the running track, he is a mental health campaigner and motivational speaker – frequently visiting schools to share his insights about success, well-being and resilience.

Mr Green, who lives in Folkestone, said: “It goes without saying that teachers play such a significant role in the lives of young children.

“Naturally, given my status as an athlete, I’m particularly keen to see the contribution of school sports staff celebrated.

“But I would also really like to see recognition for staff promoting children’s mental and emotional well-being.

“With all the focus on exams, test results and league tables, it’s all too easy to forget about whether children are happy.

“Just like the athletics stadium, school can be a stressful environment. And I know from my personal experience that success is difficult without happiness.”

The awards are organised by Inspire Schools, and coordinator Karen Brinkman said: “It’s wonderful to have someone of the status as Jack involved in the awards.

“These awards are all about celebrating hard work and dedication, and – as an Olympic athlete – those are things that Jack knows all about.”

The awards have separate categories for newly qualified teachers, non-teaching staff and volunteers.

The Kent awards are supported by Kent, Greenwich and Canterbury Christ Church universities, Ashford International Hotel, Three R’s Teacher Recruitment, Kreston Reeves, Social Enterprise Kent, Medway Youth Trust, Loop CR, Kent Sport and Physical Education, Salus, Diggerland, Kent Further Education, Kape HR, KCS, Towergate Insurance, The Education People, EduKit, Kent and Medway councils and Hornby.

And the Sussex awards’ supporter organisations are 3D Recruit, Kreston Reeves, Jurys Inn, Orbit, The Education People, Imperial College London, East Sussex and Brighton and Hove councils, Sussex Newspapers and EduKit.

Winners will be announced for each of Kent, Medway and Sussex’s local authority areas, as well as for each county as a whole.

Anyone can make nominations before the March 1 deadline at kentteacheroftheyear.co.uk and sussexteacheroftheyear.co.uk.

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