Teacher who 'goes above and beyond' honoured with national award

Johnny Lee with Lady Tanni Grey-Thompson

Johnny Lee with Lady Tanni Grey-Thompson. - Credit: Johnny Lee

A Lowestoft school teacher who continues to inspire children to be active has been honoured as the joint winner of a prestigious national award.

Johnny Lee, PE and sports co-ordinator at Red Oak Primary School in Lowestoft, was unveiled as one of just eight national finalists of the Active School Hero Award earlier this year.

Active School Hero England Home Nation winner 2022 Johnny Lee

Active School Hero England Home Nation winner 2022 Johnny Lee. - Credit: Johnny Lee

Recognised as "an unsung hero" for his "amazing" efforts to create fun environments for children to be active, Mr Lee attended a prestigious ceremony in Birmingham on June 30 where he was crowned as the joint winner of the Nike Active School Hero Home Nation award for England.

Having beaten hundreds of school staff that had been nominated across the UK, and chosen to attend an awards ceremony in Birmingham, Mr Lee was thrilled to have won.

Active School Hero England Home Nation winner 2022 Johnny Lee.

Active School Hero England Home Nation winner 2022 Johnny Lee. - Credit: Johnny Lee

He said: "They had two joint winners from each British nation - England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, with the whole UK award won by the winner of the Northern Ireland award. 

"I collected my award at the ceremony that was led by Lady Tanni Grey-Thompson, who is Chair of UK Active.

Active School Hero England Home Nation winner 2022 Johnny Lee.

Active School Hero England Home Nation winner 2022 Johnny Lee. - Credit: Johnny Lee

"Apparently there were 500 nominations for the England award, and it was amazing to come joint first."

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Now in its fourth year, the ukactive awards began in London in 2019, was expanded to all regions of England in 2021, and this year grew to include Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

With two finalists selected from each nation - with the UK’s first ever Active School Hero unveiled in front of hundreds of leaders and stars from the worlds of health, sport, fitness and leisure.

The entries were whittled down to a shortlist of 20 nominees and then reviewed by a judging panel made up of representatives from, Sport England, afPE, The Daily Mile, Women In Sport, London Sport and Active Scotland and ukactive, in order to choose two winners for each of the four nations.

Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive, said: “Congratulations to all the Active School Hero nominees and finalists, and thank you for all the work you do every day to show children that physical activity can be fun for everyone.”

Mr Lee was recognised as an Active School Hero as "he goes above and beyond to support the children of Red Oak Primary School and the wider community to be physically active.​"

It added: "He has played a fundamental role in the school’s sporting success."