Charlie Receives Top Award From England Rugby Champion Ben Cohen

Ben Cohen hands out awards at Somercotes Academy Presentation Evening after a visit to the Academy earlier in the day to meet students.

Charlie Brady receives the most prestigious award of the night, the Chief Executive's Special Award from Martin Brown, Deputy Chief Executive of Tollbar Multi Academy Trust, and Ben Cohen MBE, former England Rugby Union champion, at Somercotes Academy's Annual Presentation Evening, held at the Riverhead Theatre, Louth.

World Cup winning Rugby Union Champion, Ben Cohen MBE, told Somercotes Academy students: "Don't be a by-stander, be an up-stander and support those who need you."

Ben, who has 58 caps and scored 31 tries for England before his retirement from rugby in 2011, visited the Academy to meet students before handing out 86 awards at its Annual Presentation Evening, held at the Riverhead Theatre, Louth.

The nephew of England 1966 Football World Cup winner George Cohen, Ben was a member of the historic 2003 England World Cup winning Rugby squad. He played most of his club career for Northampton Saints RFC, before joining French side Brive, and then returning to complete his remarkable career as a prolific try scorer at Sale Sharks.

A founder of his very own StandUp Foundation, which was created in 2011 to help combat bullying and homophobia following the death of his father in a nightclub attack, Ben now channels his time fighting issues he feels passionately about.

Meeting P.E. students during a tour of Somercotes Academy, he shook hands with each of them. He told them how he fell into rugby by chance at the age of 12, after turning up to watch a friend play and being roped in because they were short of players.

Despite being told "at least 30 or 40 times" that he would never make it big, he "just kept going back" until Northampton Saints signed him up.

"Being told no and losing is character building." he explained. "Know not to panic and you will earn so much from these situations and they make you stronger. Never be afraid to ask for help, it made me learn a lot faster."

Ben, who described his career as "a fantastic journey," said that after his sports career ended he was determined to use his high profile to become a role model for others. "A lot of sports people forego education for sport and then when their career ends they don't know what to do. You have an amazing school here and you should take every single one of the fantastic opportunities it offers you to learn right now."

Frances Green, Somercotes Academy Principal, said much the same in her address to the audience at the Awards Night. "Take a risk in order to be successful, question and challenge in the right way," she told students.

Awards were presented for Achievement and Progress in the previous academic year. The winner of the most prestigious award of the night, the Chief Executive's Special Award for Outstanding Student, went to Charlie Brady, who is now studying for his A Levels at Tollbar MAT Sixth Form College.

The award was presented by Martin Brown, Deputy Chief Executive of TMAT, who described Charlie as "a polite and courteous student who achieved a 9 in Chemistry GCSE, an 8 in Biology and an 8 in Physics - grades which reflected his intelligence and commitment to his studies."

Charlie said: "I only joined the Academy in Year 10 after moving here from Kent. Somercotes Academy was brilliant. I really enjoyed my time there."

Throughout the evening, musical entertainment was provided by accomplished pianist Charlie Beevers and stunning vocalist Lucie Wells. Somercotes Academy choir closed the evening with a rousing performance of 'This Is Me' from The Greatest Showman.

Somercotes Academy Award winners with Ben Cohen MBE, Somercotes Academy Principal, Frances Green and Chair of Tollbar Multi Academy Trust, Philip Bond.

Lewis Porter and Abigail Perrow receive the House Trophy for Dorado House from Ben Cohen.

Eloise Vines receives the Principal's Cup for Best Value Added GCSE Results from Somercotes Academy Principal Frances Green and Ben Cohen.

Georgia Beevers receives the Philip Bond Award for Best GCSE Results from Philip Bond (Chair of TMAT) and Ben Cohen MBE.

Jesse Bee receives the Rob Palmer Award for Student Voice from Governor John Stokes and Ben Cohen.

Poppy Persaud receives the Year 10 Progress Award from Ben Cohen.

Ellie Gowling receives the Year 9 Progress Award from Ben Cohen.

Alexander Webber receives the Year 8 Progress Award from Ben Cohen MBE.

Amelia Rigg receives the Year 7 Progress Award from Ben Cohen.

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Somercotes Academy Principal

Frances Green

Tollbar MAT Chief Executive

David J Hampson