The Academy’s inaugural Sports Fair kicked off in style on Thursday 11th July and was enjoyed by large numbers from the Academy and the local community. The Fair was organised as part of the Sky Sports Living for Sport Community Programme, in which the Academy’s Junior Sports Leaders have been involved.

The main aim of the Fair was to promote and increase participation levels within sports and leisure. We were all extremely lucky to be in the presence of several professional athletes, including professional Snooker players from the South West Snooker Academy and local boxing hero and ex-student, Chris Higgs. Also in attendance was the Academy’s Sky Sports Athlete Mentor (Vernon Samuels, 1988 Great Britain Olympic Triple Jumper), who was so impressed with the event and in particular just how enthusiastic and welcoming our students were. Vernon especially had Ben Howells and Bethan Jewitt to thank, both of whom did an excellent job of playing host to Vernon throughout the evening (although they did manage to get a free burger out of it!) Another highlight of the evening was the performance of Professional Football freestyler and tv presenter Francis Vu. It was not only Francis’s incredible ball skills and tricks that impressed, but also how he took to the spirit of the event by staying all evening playing, interacting and leaving a lasting impression on everyone he met. Many local sports and leisure clubs from the area attended the event, such as Lydney Boxing, Volleyball, Football, Rugby, Netball and Cricket clubs. Throughout the evening there was a hive of activity going on all over the Academy site, with clubs such as Dean Ultimate Frisbee club successfully signing up new members.

A special mention must go to all of the Valencia Development Tour students who raised £100 from the raffle of a Signed Valencia Shirt, with Aaron Munden raising £60 all on his own! A thank you also to all the clubs, members of the community and to the Sports Leaders and Staff at The Dean Academy; the Fair was a roaring success and has left everyone who attended buzzing for Sport and Leisure. Planning for next year’s Fair has already started. Bring it on!