BY SAM WALKER
A teacher has won an award recognising outstanding contributions to his school.
Paul Madden, PE leader at Broadwater Primary School in Tooting, is Wandsworth’s first winner of the Active School Hero Awards.
Mr Madden joined the school in 2013 and has had a big impact since then, setting up 14 sports clubs per week, and the Wandsworth Girls Football Super League.
The school was named Wandsworth’s Active School of the Year in 2018.
Mr Madden said: “I’m pleased to have been nominated and chosen to be Wandsworth’s Active School Hero and to represent the borough in the London-wide awards.
“It’s such an honour to be recognised, I am passionate that children of all abilities get the chance to be active.
“People don’t often get told that they’re doing a good job, so it’s been fantastic to be recognised with these awards, particularly those such as the Active School Hero, for which I was nominated by parents and colleagues.
“Physical activity often gets overlooked in schools, with the big focus usually being on English and maths, so it’s great to have the importance of an active lifestyle on children’s physical and mental health, attendance, academic achievement, social skills and quality of life highlighted by these awards.”
One of Mr Madden’s colleagues, Nazima Khan, said: “Paul is a kind and thoughtful individual and a truly positive role model.
“Thanks to his work, our school has evolved into a hub of athletics and activity.
“He even inspired me to become more active in the school day by running a dance club, which has contributed to my own level of fitness.”
Mr Madden will receive professional development from Nike and the Youth Sports Trust, as well as an invitation to attend the Muller Anniversary Games, an athletics event attracting the biggest and best track and field stars.
Swimmer and Commonwealth Games Champion, Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, who is an ambassador for Active School Hero, said: “Kids today are moving less than ever, and it’s a serious problem.
“It’s important that we celebrate and learn from the primary school staff who are helping kids to be active today and fall in love with physical activity and play for life.
“Paul is a fantastic example of someone who inspires children to overcome challenges and helps them reap the benefits of physical activity.”