Pride of Durrington: England rugby star inspires Worthing students with passionate speech about overcoming obstacles

England rugby star Jess Breach has inspired Worthing students with a passionate speech about overcoming obstacles at the inaugural Pride of Durrington awards.

England rugby star Jess Breach gave a passionate speech about overcoming obstacles at the inaugural Pride of Durrington awards
England rugby star Jess Breach gave a passionate speech about overcoming obstacles at the inaugural Pride of Durrington awards

Durrington High School was celebrating individual and collective achievements of students, focusing on the key values of kindness, aspiration, perseverance and pride.

Ahead of the Women's Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, Jess spoke passionately about her journey, her almost career-destroying broken back and the obstacles she overcame to get back into the England team.

She spoke fondly of her school days and added: “No matter what you go on to do in life, it all starts here. So cherish these moments and celebrations at school because they all lead you to where you will end up some day and what you will go on to achieve."

Durrington High School choir performing at the Pride of Durrington awards

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The awards were hosted by Ms Sue Marooney, who is retiring after 19 years at Durrington but will continue as chief executive of Durrington Multi Academy Trust.

This was Ms Sue Marooney's last event in her role as executive head at Durrington High School before her retirement

She said everyone could ‘feel the pride and positivity’ radiating through the packed school hall, with waves of rapturous applause and joyous singing by the school choir.

Ms Marooney presented the Headteacher’s Recognition Award to Lucy Harrington for embodying the spirit of Team Durrington in every aspect.

Anna Ward, assistant headteacher, said: "This unique award will be presented every year in Ms Marooney’s honour and as a most fitting tribute to commemorate all she has contributed to the school. Her unwavering belief in all the Durrington students will continue to inspire future generations to achieve great things for many years to come."

Other award winners were as follows:

Volunteer of the Year, Georgia Scott

Charity Fundraiser of the Year, Olivia Yard

Unsung Community Heroes, Luke Morl and Alfie Bennett

Peer Support Award, Jessica Ricca

Outstanding Contribution to Extra-Curricular Activities, Bethany Evans

Commitment to Sports Awards, Charlie O’Hara and Elizabeth Claydon

Spirit of Adventure Award, Opal Broad

Student of Courage, Archie Hanson

Young Achiever, Louis Issberner

Environmental Champion, James Standing

Overcoming Adversity Award, Lorcan MacFarlane

Outstanding Commitment to Home Learning, Owen Shum

The Sally Baker Reading Award, Aidan Stenhouse

Outstanding Contribution to Creative Arts, Oscar Douse and Jasper Smith

Outstanding Contribution to Careers Award, Isabel Cunningham

Company awards were presented to seven students who have gone above and beyond and have made a significant difference to the lives of others:

Pride of Coubertin Award, Max Slaughter

Pride of DaVinci Award, Evie Chatfield

Pride of Franklin Award, Teodora Cholakova

Pride of Hawking Award, Jacob Grant

Pride of Mercator Award, Thea Tate

Pride of Roddick Award, Isobel Morgan

Pride of Shelley Award, Taiya Moulding

Awards were also given in each year group to individual students who had achieved the greatest number of KAPP based nominations for the Greatest Contribution to School Values:

Year 7 Award, Rachel Marshall

Year 8 Award, Jasmine Lawrence

Year 9 Award, Jessie Hopkins

Year 10 Award, Ruby Scrace