Friday, 10 November 2017
Mr Trevor Pledger, former teacher and Director of Partnerships at Bolton School Boys’ Division, has won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Bolton News Schools Awards for his life-long dedication to young people’s sport.
He first joined the Boys’ Division 1986 and was asked to “improve water polo”. 31 years on, he retired content in the knowledge that he achieved this and so much more: the School won all national age group water polo titles for the third year in a row in 2017, and former pupils hold a string of international caps!
During Mr Pledger’s career, the School produced over 40 youth/junior water polo internationals and nine full internationals, including three girl youth/juniors and one senior woman. He was also instrumental in developing the Outdoor Learning programme, the use of adventure learning centre Patterdale Hall, outdoor pursuits as part of the games curriculum, and the ski trip. He moved on to the role of Director of Sport and, since 2009, Director of Partnerships and has done much to move along the many and various partnerships between the School and the local community, including the nationally recognised Bolton Sports Alliance. Outside of school, as a volunteer, Trevor has officiated on the play zone of four European, two Commonwealth and the London Olympic Games as well as being a table official for a European Championship. He is also former President of English Schools’ Swimming Association and current Chairman and Lead Delegate at World Schools’ Games Swimming in Doha.
Reflecting on his time at Bolton School, Mr Pledger said: “I have been privileged to be part of what I truly believe is the unique Bolton School Water Polo Team at a time of great success. The success of the boys during this period is a tribute to their talent, hard work and dedication and to the quality of the coaches we have been able to bring to the School to work with them. It has truly been a 'special' time as the water polo squads have not only produced international water polo players but boys who have gone on to play professionally in other sports (football, cricket and rugby league) and win World titles in swimming (Daniel Sliwinski) and most notably World Endurance Mountain Biking (Chris Eatough). The team and the future is in the very capable hands of Dr Mike Yates and GB water polo Coach of the Year Andy McGinty, and I wish them every success in the future. I hope to continue to watch the progress of players in the national leagues as I move to a role of Delegate.”
Boys’ Division Headmaster Philip Britton said, “A great school thrives with the right blend of colleagues arriving with new ideas, colleagues moving away for promotion and those who make a lifelong career, grow with the school, help its development and carry the enduring ethos. Trevor is a first rate example of someone who has been instrumental in moving the school forward in a sustained and purposeful way over many years, adapting and responding to change, whilst keeping true to the values. Such careers clearly do show how teaching is a real vocation, not a job.”
Mr Pledger received his award at a glittering awards ceremony held at the Holiday Inn in Bolton. The award was sponsored by Bolton College.
Another member of the Bolton School community who was honoured on the night was Barry Massey, the Junior Boys’ School lollipop man. Officially a member of the School Crossing Patrol Service, Mr Massey was awarded the Unsung Hero award for his cheerful and friendly demeanour, positive attitude and genuine interest in members of the school and local community as he helps pedestrians cross the street on Park Road.
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