Our Pride in Harrison

Monday 7 November 2016

Harrison Dowling won the Excellence in Education prize in the Times & Citizen newspaper Pride in Bedford awards.

Harrison - Pride of Bedford winner

The ceremony was held at the Bedford Corn Exchange on Thursday 3 November when Harrison was joined at the event by his family and tutor Tom Davies who nominated him for the award.

Harrison showed outstanding dedication and commitment during his first year as a full-time student on the Level 3 National Diploma in Sport course at Bedford College.  Not only has Harrison achieved distinctions in every subject, finishing with an overall distinction star, but he also won the Sport Department’s Academic Student of the Year Award and the Employability Award in recognition of his professional attributes.  In addition, Harrison has worked hard outside of his course to pass on his knowledge to others in the local community through volunteering and part-time work.

Course Manager Tom Davies said: “It is rare to see such a committed student who, at only 17 years of age, is so passionate about his studies and who also takes the time to help fellow students and others in the local area.  What is also incredible is that he has achieved the top grades of distinction in every subject he studied.”  

From the very start of his course Harrison set out with a positive attitude and was keen to put in as much effort as possible to achieve the very best he was capable of.  Harrison said “It helped that I’ve always enjoyed sport, but when I started learning about the beneficial impact of regular exercise and eating well it inspired me to learn more and pass on this information to other people.”

Harrison believes his attitude and approach have been key to achieving distinctions in every subject.  If he was unsure about anything that had been taught in class, Harrison was not afraid to ask his tutor to go through the topic again.  Harrison also conducted his own research, outside of the classroom, to make sure that his coursework contained unique evidence.  This effort was above and beyond what was expected on the course and lead to tutors nominating Harrison to undertake the additional professional coaching qualifications: Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing; Level 1 Football Coaching and Level 3 Personal Training. 

As a volunteer Schools Games Maker for Team Beds & Luton, Harrison has been involved in inspiring the younger generation in his local community to get active.  This initiative, which was hailed as ‘vital work’ by the Minister of State for Children and Families last year, sees Harrison and other School Games Makers helping almost 1,000 young people participate in sports such as softball, rowing and rounders.   

Harrison also works part-time at The Gym in Bedford where he puts the theory he has learnt in his anatomy and physiology lessons into practice. Harrison enjoys coaching customers and breaking down each exercise so they understand exactly which muscle it is working and how to prevent injuries.  He also advises clients on nutrition and how food can impact sport performance. 

Harrison said: “Eventually I’d like to become a Personal Trainer, so all these additional opportunities are fantastic experience for me and ultimately mean that I can help and inspire others to become better versions of themselves, which is very rewarding.”

» Find out more about Sport courses at Bedford College