Dinnington High School pupils meet Jessica Ennis-Hill at Sky Academy Day

Jessica Ennis-Hill
Jessica Ennis-Hill

Students from Dinnington High School took part in the Sky Academy Confidence Day with Jessica Ennis-Hill this week.

The pupils were among 300 secondary school students, aged 11-18, from 12 UK schools to take part in the dedicated event on Thursday designed to help develop key life skills and confidence through participation in sporting activities.

Hosted at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield, and led by Ennis-Hill, the day formed part of Sky Academy Confidence month, which runs September 23 to October 31, and showcased the Sky Sports Living for Sport programme that works with sports stars, schools and teachers across the country to build practical skills, experience and confidence.

The campaign was established after Sky Academy research, conducted by YouGov, discovered that one in three young people, aged 11-24, claim they are “not confident”. The study of more than 1,600 young people and 600 parents also revealed that girls (60%) feel less confident than boys (67%), especially when faced with new and unfamiliar experiences.

Sky Academy ambassador, Jessica Ennis-Hill, said: “The best advice I would give to people suffering low self-confidence would be to talk to your parents, teachers, friends or someone you can trust, so they can help you.

“In my mind, sport is a great way to build confidence. It promotes discipline, it releases endorphins that make you feel good and when you win, it’s a real confidence booster.”

At the end of the event, Ellie Walker, a Year 11 student at Dinnington High School said, “I had a great time at the Sky Academy Confidence Day, especially taking part in all of the practical activities. I learned a lot about leadership and communication from meeting Jess Ennis-Hill and the Sky Sports Living for Sport athlete mentors. It has really helped me realise that by applying myself I can be capable of great things.”

Dinnington High School won the opportunity to attend to the Sky Academy Confidence Day after entering a nation-wide Sky Sports Living for Sports competition.

When asked about participating in the day, Dinnington High School teacher Katy Rogers, said: “I’m thrilled that Dinnington High School has taken part in the Sky Academy Confidence Day with Jess Ennis-Hill, and even more delighted for our students.

“It is really important that young people have positive role models and messages to inspire them, and sport in particular can be a great tool to teach important disciplines such as leadership and confidence. I am positive that the Dinnington High School students will remember this experience for years to come.”