MORE than 350 students and parents packed the Will Mackaness Hall at Wey Valley School in Weymouth for the school’s 18th annual sports awards.

The yearly event celebrates students’ sporting achievements, honouring those that have stood out during the last 12 months.

Year 11 students Marnie McCombe and Robert Deadman took home the sports personality of the year awards in recognition of their contributions.

PE teacher Stuart Heath said: “Marnie and Robert are both worthy winners of these awards, which reflect very high levels of sporting achievement and the crucial part they play at school as excellent role models for other students.

“Marnie’s special sporting interest is netball, while Robert’s into cricket and rugby, and they’re both great all-rounders – always willing to help and a real inspiration to their younger school-mates.”

A total of 60 awards were presented during the evening, some of them given out by the specialist coaches who visit regularly to teach Wey Valley students more unusual sports such as martial arts and volleyball.

Other Year 11 award winners included Stacey Hancock and Tom Edgeley for their dedication to extra-curricular sports, and Rebecca Raybould and Alex Jolliffe for their dedication to sporting excellence.

Principal Phil Thomas said: “This event was the culmination of our young peoples’ school sporting careers, and it’s been fantastic to witness how the positive personal values of sport have helped instil confidence and raise self-esteem among them.”

Heath added: “We encourage our students to take part in as many sporting events as possible, from traditional sports such as football, rugby, cricket, netball, tennis and basketball, to modern sports such as mountain biking, rock climbing, sailing, kayaking and orienteering.”

Wey Valley School became a specialist sports college in 2003 and offers an unusually wide range of PE-related qualifications, such as the BTEC First Diploma in Sport, the Duke of Edinburgh Award and the Sports Leaders Awards.

Over the past 10 years, more than £1.75m has been invested in improved sporting facilities at Wey Valley, including provision of a new fitness studio, dance studio, floodlit multi-use games area for netball and football and an athletics sprint track.