Athena Awards 2011

Jackie Freeborn with her award

An inspirational Swinton woman has scooped the top honour in the Rotherham arm of a global leadership awards programme.

Jackie Freeborn, Chief Executive of Business & Education South Yorkshire, is the recipient of this year’s Rotherham Athena Award, which recognises the achievements of women from all walks of life who are fulfilling leadership roles and supporting other women to do the same.

Jackie picked up her award at a ceremony which was also attended by 16 other nominees, who all joined the Athena Roll of Honour in recognition of their significant contribution to improving the quality of life in Rotherham.

In addition to this year’s winner, the judges also selected two Highly Commended Honourees – Sue Barratt and Janet Wheatley – whose contributions were felt to be worthy of special mention.

Sue Barratt, is Managing Director of GROW (Giving Real Opportunities to Women) in Rotherham. She received two separate nominations. Janet Wheatley has been Chief Executive of Voluntary Action Rotherham since 2003.

Rotherham is the only place in the UK to be affiliated to the Athena International Programme, the main aim of which is to secure a balance in leadership worldwide. It began life in the United States in the early 1980s and now extends across the world.

The license for the Rotherham Athena Award 2011 is held by Rotherham Borough Council, on behalf of Rotherham Partnership, which brings together representatives from the public, private, voluntary and community sectors to address local issues and improve life for local residents.

The judging panel comprised Brian Chapple, Chair of Rotherham Partnership; Joanna Jones, Rotherham Women’s Network Co-ordinator; Jessica Zeun, Chair of Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber’s Women in Business Group, and Joyce Thacker, Rotherham Borough Council’s Strategic Director of Children and Young People’s Services.

Jackie’s nomination described her as: “a role model for other women, unconsciously, by just being determined, passionate, working hard, not giving up and generally having a positive outlook on life… She leads by example and has throughout her working and personal life supported many individual women to progress in their career, to manage work/life balance, and to believe in themselves…She has earned her reputation as a leader and this in itself has inspired so many others to challenge things… She has the gift of instilling enthusiasm in everyone she meets, sharing her wisdom in abundance and achieving tangible results.”

A former Area Manager and Deputy Regional Director of Business in the Community, Jackie  took on her current role with Business & Education South Yorkshire in 2007.

Jackie and her team work with more than 8,000 businesses to provide young people across South Yorkshire with inspiring opportunities to enable them to understand and experience the world of work – equating to around 6,000 opportunities for young people in Rotherham each year.

Jackie is also the Director of Dearne Valley Youth Achievement Foundation; a regional representative on the Young People’s Enterprise Forum; a member of the Aged 14 – 19 Strategic Group in Rotherham, and a designate representative for Friends of the Cutlers Company in Sheffield.

Sponsorship for this year’s awards came from the Local Strategic Partnership and a number of its member organisations, including the Council, NHS Rotherham and the Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber of Commerce.

Commercial sponsors included Morrison, a contractor with 2010 Rotherham Limited, Rotherham’s arms length housing management organisation; charity and training organisation Morthyng Group Limited; publishing company Garnett Dickinson and the Maltby-based Gillian Banks Theatre School.



twitter:     @sfpix

Come On United! England Captain helps King Ecgbert School on the road to Wembley

Faye White, Arsenal and England Ladies Football Captain

With the npower Football League U13 Girls Cup North Regional Finals just around the corner, team members of King Ecgbert School will be bending it even better than Beckham after a surprise coaching session from England captain Faye White.

Competing against Middlesbrough, Stockport County and Walsall and in the North Regional Final to be held at Huddersfield on 9th February, Faye will try to coach King Ecgbert School to victory with her experienced words of wisdom.

A defensive rock and Arsenal Ladies Football captain, Faye is a role model to all female footballers and knows exactly what it takes to succeed having won twenty-two illustrious trophies and achieved 84 international caps for her country.

Faye White pictured with girls captain Daisy Hope and trophy.

Representing Sheffield United, King Ecgbert School is one of the last eight teams vying for a place in the Grand Final which is due to be played prior to the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 3rd April.

Faye White, Arsenal and England Ladies Football Captain, commented: ‘It’s great to be supporting grassroots football and an absolute privilege to be working alongside these extremely talented young girls. The npower Football League U13 Girls Cup really champions the future of women’s football and the opportunity to play in front of a huge crowd at Wembley Stadium is an absolute dream for any footballer.’

Faye White puts the girls through their paces.

Clare McDougall, head of community & education at npower, said; ‘Faye is one of the world’s finest women’s footballers and an inspiration for all young girls. With a wealth of experience and a personal trophy cabinet to match, we believe she can help coach King Ecgbert School on their road to Wembley and motivate these fine young players to become the country’s future talent.’

Sponsored by npower, The npower Football League Girls Cup is a national six-a-side tournament for U13 girls. One of 72 teams participating in the competition, King Ecgbert School won the right to represent Sheffield United, progressing through to the Regional Final, after beating other rival schools in the Local Club and Area Finals stage of the knockout competition.

The 09/10 season saw more than 2,500 schools take part in The npower Football League junior tournaments with a school representing Crystal Palace being crowned champions and lifting The npower Football League U13 Girls Cup.



Twitter:       @sfpix

%d bloggers like this: