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First year student Matthew Furgrove wins prestigious sport accolade at the 2021 BTEC Awards

Date Posted: 07/07/2021 | Posted In: Student News

The exceptional achievements of Matthew Furgrove from The Sixth Form Bolton (previous Ladybridge High School student) were celebrated today as he was awarded the prestigious Silver BTEC Award for Sport Learner of the Year 2021.  

Matthew, aged 17 was recognised by teachers and peers during his first year as he has gone over and above to succeed on the course. He has completed several additional FA qualifications in his spare time. Alongside his BTEC programme, Matthew has chosen to study EPQ and research the prevalence of drugs in sport to support his future progression into higher education. He is a mature, hard-working and well-rounded young man, with a clear passion for his studies and a focus for his future career path. He is a fantastic ambassador for The Sixth Form and the Sport & Public Services department.

Matthew’s hard work and dedication was celebrated at the 11th anniversary of Pearson’s annual BTEC Awards hosted online on 7 July 2021 at 2pm.  

Matthew commented: 

“I have loved my first year at The Sixth Form Bolton. Ever since day one, I have felt so welcome and it has been a great experience. This award is a massive highlight for me and I cannot wait for my second year studying Sport & Exercise Science.”

Co-hosted by presenter of the United View, YouTube influencer and BTEC alumnus and ambassador, Flex and sports presenter and events host, Gemma Care. 19 category award winners were celebrated from around the UK and internationally in subjects such as Health & Social Care, Performing Arts, Engineering, IT, Business and Sport. 

BTEC alumni including Academy Award-winning producer and Head of Film and Animation at ScreenSkills Gareth Ellis-Unwin, entrepreneur and founder of SB.TV Jamal Edwards MBE, and award-winning actress Lucy Fallon were among those also presenting awards.

Curtis Scott, Teacher of Sport at The Sixth Form Bolton commented on Matthew’s achievement:

“Matthew is an outstanding student who is an inspiration to his peers at The Sixth Form Bolton. He goes above and beyond on his study programme and is a pleasure to teach on his Sport & Exercise Science course. Matthew was nominated for this award as recognition for the mental and physical support he provided for his peers during the challenging lockdown period. Matthew was a key figure in a Strava running group to help ensure his peers remained active during remote teaching, and organised a mental health awareness talk by Danny Sculthorpe, an ex-professional Rugby player to highlight the challenges we face in society and sport. Matthew is fully deserving of this award and a credit to The Sixth Form.”


Cindy Rampersaud, Senior Vice President, BTEC and Apprenticeships at Pearson, said:

“2021 has been another extraordinary year for our BTEC learners, tutors, teachers, colleges and schools and I am delighted that today we are able to come together and celebrate this year’s winners – and all of the individuals who will be awarded a BTEC qualification this year. The hard work and commitment demonstrated by our award winners, all of whom have achieved great things, during a time of unprecedented disruption, is extraordinary and I am proud we are able to celebrate their achievements.”  

During the ceremony hosted on YouTube, Pearson also announced the winners of the 2021 Showstopper Challenge, a competition that gives BTEC performers the opportunity to showcase their talents. The audience were treated to performances from:   

  • Bishop Challoner Catholic College
  • Jackie Palmer Academy
  • Clevedon School
  • D16 Performing Arts College

Nearly a million learners across the globe completed BTEC courses over the past year; the career-focused qualifications are a vital route for those pursuing careers in sectors such as IT, business, the creative industries, healthcare, engineering, construction and future industries.  This is especially important in the current context as the UK responds to the global pandemic and looks to kickstart projects to speed economic recovery. 

Jonathan Ledger, Skills Specialist at The Department for International Trade commented:

“I must emphasise the importance of BTEC as a career-focused type of qualification and that for me is key.  This is all about delivering the right skills to the right people at the right time in the right way and BTEC qualifications do just that. For me, BTEC qualifications are a game changer. They change lives and they help people improve and contribute to business and society in a big way.

A huge congratulations once again to all the winners and all of the nominees.”

You can hear from Matthew below: 

Find out more about our courses here: 

A Level Physical Education 

Single Vocational A Level Sports Science (Level 3 Extended Certificate) 

Triple Vocational A Level Sports Science (Level 3 Extended Diploma) 

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