Paralympian and ex-student Ryan Taylor urged students to find a job that they enjoyed at an awards evening to celebrate their successes.

Ryan, who came sixth in the para-triathlon in Rio’s Paralympic Games, was speaking to students at our Autumn Presentation Evening.

The former student said he had found the best career he ever could have imagined.

The 23-year-old said: “Use all the support you have got from teachers and staff and find a job you enjoy and life will be much easier. Because I have found a career which is the best career I’m ever going to have.”

But, Ryan said, it had taken a lot of hard work to get where he was. He said he trained for 30 hours a week, battled through various injuries and got up at 5am to swim – however, he could eat 5,000 calories a day.

He said competing in the Paralympic games in September had been a “fantastic experience” and a “once in a lifetime opportunity”.

At the event, awards for academic and extra-curricular achievements were handed out in front of a packed audience of parents, family members, carers and staff at the academy.

House awards were also made, with the Athletics Day Trophy going to Romero House, the Merit Cup and Attendance Shield being won by Bakhita House and Kolbe House scooping the House Point Shield.

In between the speeches and awards the audience was entertained by the academy’s orchestra, as well as a preview of this year’s school show – Bugsy Malone.

Kevin Gritton, head teacher, thanked everyone for coming to the event, which he said was very much about “motivation”.

Pictured below, left to right, are Natasha Coyle, guest of honour Ryan Taylor and Kayleigh Giles.

Awards Oct 16 Natasha Coyle, Ryan Taylor and Kayleigh Giles