EDUCATION AWARDS: Sporting stars shining across area
Nominations for the Lincolnshire Free Press and Spalding Guardian Education Awards close this Friday at 5pm.
Over the last five weeks, schools and pre-schools across South Holland and Deepings, Bourne and villages south of Boston, have been nominating pupils, students, teachers, teaching assistants and support staff for consideration in each of the award's 12 categories.
Traditionally, however, the most competitive award has been for Outstanding Sporting Achievement, with three less than obvious sports having produced the winners.
The most recent winner, in 2016, was international gymnast and student at The Deepings School, Jake Jarman (16) who won five medals at the English Gymnastics Championships in February.
Having also won the respect of his peers last summer when he was chosen as his school's first-ever Sports Personality of the Year, Jake's consistent progress in gymnastics has only been matched by his modesty and respect towards fellow students and staff.
After receiving the second of his two awards, Jake told the Free Press: "It's nice to know that people appreciate what you do and I think it's quite cool to have other people knowing who you are and what you do."
Head teacher Richard Lord said: "We have a number of sportsmen and women who are nationally recognised here, but Jake's achievements in winning competitions when up against students who are far older than him makes us all very proud.
"Jake has a real chance of securing international selection for British gymnastics teams in the future, but he's very polite, unassuming, well-liked among his peers and also doing really well in his studies.
"We wish Jake all the best in continuing to be a superb role model and inspiration to other students."
Another role model who won the Outstanding Sporting Achievement Award in 2015 was former Spalding High School student and taekwondo player Megan Hartfil-Algood (18).
Recognition by judges both for her achievements in becoming English champion for her age group and her willingness to help younger students, Megan said: "I'm really dedicated to my sport.
"It's become more than just a hobby to me, but what I really like doing is helping the junior taekwondo players."
The first winner of the Outstanding Sporting Achievement Award in 2014 was triathlete Kayleigh Adams (21) who was the highest-placed UK athlete at that year's World Under-20 Sprint Triathlon World Championships in Canada.
Kayleigh, a former Bourne Academy student and Army Cadet, said: "I was so proud to have represented my country and so chuffed to have been the first British athlete home.
"I was so nervous on race day but once the horn went to signify the start of the swim my focus was on being the best that I could be.
"I'd trained really hard in the run-up to the event and it paid off.
So who could join Jake, Megan and Kayleigh as the winner of the Outstanding Achievement Award for 2018?
Sporting success stories over the last 12 months have included cyclist Bryn Richards (15), of Spalding Grammar School, who picked up six trophies at Bourne Wheelers Cycling Club's presentation night in February.
Another candidate could be Bourne Academy student Abbi Pulling (15) who, in September 2017, became the first girl ever to win a British junior karting championship.
Over the next four days, the choice is yours.