PARALYMPIAN Tim Prendergast inspired students during a visit to Clacton Coastal Academy.

The New Zealander awed pupils and parents alike with his motivational speech, during the academy’s first-ever sports awards evening.

Every student who has played in a team over the last year was awarded a medal.

Students then voted for their player-of-the-year, while the PE department also awarded their player-of-the-year for each team.

Special awards were given for outstanding contribution, sports leader of the year and team of the year.

Principal Tracey Hemming said: “It was a truly successful evening and fantastic to see so many of our young people rewarded for their hard work.

“They were on the edge of their seats when Tim was speaking and I believe they went away feeling utterly inspired to achieve their best.” Students have celebrated a number of sporting successes this year, including the year 11 football team getting to the North-East Essex School Sport Association (NEESSA) final, the under-16s girls’ football team winning their NEESSA final, the launch of the North Essex Girls Cricket Academy, in association with Essex County Cricket Club, and raising more than £1,000 for Sport Relief.