Top teacher is finalist for Sky Sports award

Darren Taxis has been nominated for the Sky Sports Teacher of the Year award. 052C

Darren Taxis has been nominated for the Sky Sports Teacher of the Year award. 052C

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A PE teacher from Grantham will find out on Thursday (Jan 19) if he is to be named the Sports Teacher of the Year for 2011.

Darren Taxis, a PE teacher at the Phoenix School in Grantham, is one of only three finalists for the national Sky Sports award.

On Thursday night, Darren will head to Wembley Stadium for the awards ceremony, which will be presented by Sky Sports News presenter Kirsty Gallacher.

Darren, 30, said: “I couldn’t believe it when I was nominated and I still can’t.

“It’s fantastic and really good for the school as well.

“Everyone at the school has helped with the sports clubs we’ve run so it really is a team effort.”

Darren was put forward for the award by fellow Phoenix School PE teacher Rupert Jordan.

The Phoenix School teaches secondary aged pupils with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties and the organisers of the award were impressed with Darren’s ability to organise creative classes in sports and activities such as archery, boxing and street dance.

Darren said: “If a pupil comes to us and says “can we do this sport?”, we always try to make it happen. We like doing something different like archery and street dance.

“It’s great to see the kids take part in and improve in sports they don’t always have the opportunity to try.”

The award nomination has come after Phoenix School became one of 1,500 schools across the country to take part in the Sky Sports Living for Sport scheme.

The scheme has seen sports stars such as Olympic silver medallist Gail Emms visit the school.

Darren said: “It’s something Sky Sports are really pushing at the moment and it’s been great for us at Phoenix School.

“Getting professional sports stars in to talk about their up-bringing and how hard they had to work good for the pupils. It’s nice to have people talk to the kids who have reached the top of their profession.”

No matter if Darren finishes first, second or third, he will receive a cash prize of between £500 and £2,000 to be spent on the school’s next sports project.

Darren said: “I’m really looking forward to it. It should be a fantastic day.”

See the Journal website on Friday to find out how Darren got on.