Introducing… Heanor Gate Superstars!

Spencer – Sport

Over the bank holiday weekend, from 29th April to 2nd May 2022, Year 8’s Spencer took part in the 29th National Dwarf Games in Wolverhampton where he and 185 fellow athletes competed.

Spencer’s games started with a 60m sprint and, unfortunately, Spencer finished in last position. He joked it was just his warm up!

Spencer then took part in the relay, finishing in the same position, last.

Later in the afternoon things started to pick up for Spencer as he started the field events. First up was Under 15’s Javelin, where Spencer earnt his first bronze medal. Next up was Under 15’s Shot Put, this time gaining him a silver. Next came the last event of Day 1 which was Under 15’s Discus. This is where Spencer excelled, winning a gold medal and now equalling his best medal tally for the whole games!

After a good night’s rest came Day 2. This started with Junior Basketball where, after a number of matches, Spencer came away with another gold medal! In the afternoon Spencer played a few lively games of Junior Hockey which gained him a bronze medal.

Following basketball and hockey, Spencer also took part in Junior Table Tennis, but by this point he was very tired and, despite fighting on, Spencer was unable to get onto the podium.

On Day 3, the final day of the games, Spencer took part in the last of his events, Junior Football Tournament, in which he and his team mates achieved a bronze medal.

The total tally for the weekend was an amazing 6 medals, and Spencer was lucky enough to have 5 of these medals presented to him by nine-time gold Paralympic medal winner Ellie Simmonds OBE (pictured), who Spencer had the opportunity to watch compete in the games over the whole weekend.

A massive congratulations to Spencer for his superb achievements at the National Dwarf Games, and for showing his exceptional level of resilience. We are very proud of you!

Tia – The Arts

This week we would like to introduce you to the next of our HGSA Superstars, Tia in Year 13!
Tia has been drawing for as long as she can remember and has a passion for art that means she lives and breathes it. Whether that be in school, home or even on holidays, you’ll find her with pencils in hand and a sketch book that is never far away.
This dedication and commitment to constantly developing her craft has led to an offer from the prestigious University of Oxford to study Fine Art. We are all rooting for Tia who says that Oxford is “The best university in the world for art” and, unlike other courses, will allow her the freedom to follow her own inspiration. Tia can’t wait to learn from the Oxford professors, to try out new skills, challenge herself and see how much she can progress.
Tia’s favourite artist is Salvador Dali and she has enjoyed researching and finding out more about his work on portraiture and surrealism.
Not only is Tia a fabulous student, she also works on private commissions. These are portraits drawn from photographs that Tia takes personally and each one takes around 20 hours. Tia is always challenging herself to improve her skill level and tries out varying methods to ensure she gets the best results, from pencils and oil paints to a plain old biro which, as Tia points out, means there’s no room for error! Tia’s love for art means that hours can whizz by in what feels like seconds. It’s a real escape from reality, in fact Tia says “I put my music on and it’s just the best!”

Jasmin and Naomi – Sport

To celebrate the launch of Spencer Superstars Charity Foundation, we’d like to introduce you to some of Heanor Gate’s very own Superstars, beginning with the Coker siblings.

Jasmin, who attends our Sixth Form, and her younger sister Naomi, Year 8, have been playing table tennis since February 2017. After just 6 months playing casually, the pair started to compete.

They spend 3 hours a week training with Draycott and Long Eaton Table Tennis Club and continue their practice 2/4 times a week at home playing against their dad and other professional coaches.

The girls have competed on a national level, representing both their club and Heanor Gate Spencer Academy, performing brilliantly in both individual and team competitions. Most recently, Jasmin and Naomi entered the Butterfly National Schools Individual Championships where they won the Under 19 competition together. Naomi then won a bronze medal in the Under 13 Girls category. As a result of her performance, Naomi has now been asked to represent England in the International Schools Competition in June.

Jasmin told us that to play well you need good coordination, and that a surprising amount of endurance is needed as games can go on for a long time. When asking her why she and her sister enjoyed playing so much, she said it was a fun sport that not many people play, and it gives her the opportunity to make friends with a variety of people (including those she plays against!). The best bit – finally being able to beat their dad!