Staff and students at Oldham Sixth Form College are celebrating after alumnus Kevin Sinfield received the Association of Colleges’ Gold Award.
The awards celebrate the success of further education alumni and acknowledge the vital role that colleges play in building the foundation of successful careers.
Staff and students from Oldham Sixth Form College attended the star-studded awards ceremony in London on 10 June to represent Kevin at the presentation with Lord Willis of Knaresborough. Kevin was unable to attend in person as he was preparing for the Leeds Rhinos v Castleford match being played the following day.
On receiving his award, Kevin said:
“I’m delighted. I’m really proud to come through Oldham Sixth Form College and to get an award like this 15-20 year on is a real surprise but it’s something I’m very proud of.
“My time at Oldham Sixth Form College was fantastic. I’ve got some great memories. The two years I spent were probably the toughest of my career to date. Trying to combine four A Levels with a full time professional rugby career; trying to manage both careers was very difficult but the help and support I got from the college – the encouragement, certainly inspired me, to get through those two years and has helped me ever since in my career. Being able to manage time and prioritise have been some of the key things I learned here.
“It’s a great college and I still have a lot of friends here who were teachers back then and are still here now.”
Kevin signed with Rugby League team Leeds Rhinos at the age of 16, the same year that he joined Oldham Sixth Form. He made four appearances in 1997 and 1998 scoring his debut try in 1998. His breakthrough season came in 1999, when he made 21 appearances for his club and scored two tries. At the same time, Kevin was studying for A Levels in which he achieved excellent grades and never missed a coursework deadline. In October 2012 he was named captain of the England Rugby League team and in January 2013 he won the Golden Boot – only the fourth Englishman to do so. He was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2014 and retired from international Rugby League in September that year, while continuing to captain Leeds Rhinos.
Alongside, Kevin Sinfield, Oldham Sixth Form College nominated Amy Clinton (17) as a student showing promise in a similar field to receive the Association of Colleges ‘Future Star’ accolade. Amy studies A levels in PE, Maths and Biology and hopes to study Sports Science or Mathematics at University. Amy also juggles a netball career alongside her studies and has achieved five U19 England caps in the last year, alongside playing for both Manchester Thunder and Oldham Netball clubs.
Amy also attended the award ceremony at the House of Commons to receive a Future Star grant cheque of £1,000 from the AoC Charitable Trust to enable her to support her career aspirations and help her realise her ambitions.
“Kevin is such an inspirational role model, and I would love to follow in his footsteps in the netball world. This day was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I can’t thank Oldham Sixth Form College enough for nominating me. I was completely shocked when I heard my name announced as one of the ‘Future Stars’ grant award winners, and felt truly honoured to receive it.”
Jayne Clarke, Principal at Oldham Sixth Form College said:
“Kevin is an outstanding role model, both within his sport and more generally. He thoroughly deserves this recognition for his success whilst with us and in his amazing career since. This is great news for OSFC and our students and we’d like to congratulate both Kevin and Amy, as our ‘Future Star’, on these awards.”
The AoC Gold Awards highlight the role Colleges play in providing over three million students with valuable employability skills, helping to develop their career opportunities and strengthen the local, regional and national economy.
Colleges are inspirational places to learn because education and training is delivered by expert teaching staff in industry-standard facilities.
For more information about AoC Gold Awards visit www.aoc.co.uk/gold