NOTTINGHAM Forest and England football star Jermaine Jenas has visited Bulwell Academy to inspire a generation of students.
The guest appearance was organised through the Aquinas Foundation — a charity Jenas is heavily involved with.
Jenas, who is currently on loan at the City Ground from Tottenham Hotspur, met a group of students and shared his experiences and achievements in sport in a bid to raise pupils’ aspirations.
“It was a really good event,” said Bulwell’s director of business and enterprise, Alison Bingham. “He is a local legend and a very positive role model for youngsters, as well as being a very nice chap.
“He also had an empathy with our students and delivered a positive message that if you work hard and make the right choices the outcome can be positive.”
As well as a question and answer session in the school’s business hub with students from Years 6 and 7 ,who have a particular interest in following sport as a career option, Nottingham-born Jenas also presented two bicycles, sponsored by car dealership Stratstone, to the principal, Paul Halcro.
Alison explained: “The bikes will be awarded to two students who achieve in different ways. One will be presented at the end of term to the student with the best attendance and the other to reward outstanding behaviour.
“This is just one of the ways to help increase attendance and behaviour.”
After the session, other students at the academy were given the opportunity for a chat with Jenas and to get autographs.
The Aquinas Foundation has a variety of programmes available to schools to help tackle areas of concern such as attendance and raising aspirations to help young people reach their potential.
“The Foundation approached us and we were delighted to welcome it into our school and give students the opportunity to meet a sporting success story like Jermaine Jenas,” added Alison.
“This is just another example of our ongoing campaign to bring business leaders and experts into the school.
“By sharing their experiences, students can realise that that they too can be successful if they are determined enough.”