Leadership awards for students

Sophie Gilroy (left) and Jess Foster. Below, Sophie in a gorge walking challenge
Sophie Gilroy (left) and Jess Foster. Below, Sophie in a gorge walking challenge

TWO students took part in a life-changing course aimed at creating leaders of the future.

Hartlepool duo Sophie Gilroy, 19, and Jess Foster, 17, gained the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) after completing a week-long course.



Sophie and Jess, who are both students at Hartlepool Sixth Form College, were selected by Hartlepool Rotary Club to join this year’s course because of their leadership potential.

It saw them tested to their capabilities where they gained self confidence and developed leadership skills through a range of challenging activities.

Before the end of the first day the teams had bonded together to enable them to tackle the challenges ahead including bridge building, defusing “bombs”, caving, gorge walking, power boarding, rock climbing, abseiling and an overnight survival camp.

They were among 30 others from the North-East who received their awards during a celebration evening in Gateshead after taking part in the course at Hayden Bridge, in Northumberland.

Barbra Midgley, new generations officer with Hartlepool Rotary Club, said: “RYLA really works and it was great to see the impact on Sophie and Jess.

“They had a great time and came back as different people, much more prepared for their journey through life.

“They are now far more confident and have learned that they can achieve things that before they didn’t think possible.”

Ted Jackson, this year’s club president, added: “Our aim is to provide help in the community and RYLA is just one of our projects.

“We are hoping that the people of Hartlepool will support our next venture which is to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support and local charities.”

An event called Songs from the Shows will be presented by The George Colley Singers in the Hartlepool College of Further Education on Friday, October 19, at 7.30pm.

Tickets cost £7 (concessions £6) and they can be obtained by ringing (01429) 262751.