Popular NOA PE teacher retires with tribute from rugby legend
NOA staff and pupils end term with tributes to sports teacher with over 30 years service
As schools across North Oxfordshire prepare to close their doors for the summer holidays one is marking the end of an era as a popular PE teacher retires. Today is his last day as a teacher at the North Oxfordshire Academy for Dave Allen.
Current staff and pupils are being joined by others, including the England rugby legend Sir Clive Woodward, in thanking Dave for his vast contribution to the lives of young people in the area.
Mr Allen has overseen sports lessons for the last thirty years, originally joining Drayton School as it was known before becoming the North Oxfordshire Academy (NOA).
A spokesperson for NOA told Banbury FM, “Over his time here [Dave] has contributed vastly to the Banbury community and is highly regarded by all peers past and present who value his passion and commitment to physical education.
“Dave is an outstanding performer who over many years has impacted on thousands of students lives and inspired them to pursue sport in community clubs. He has a unique ability to enthuse and motivate a full range of students but especially those with lower ability or enthusiasm for sport. The turnaround in them to develop a real thirst for their own development in PE and interest in sport is fantastic”.
In addition to scheduled sports lessons Mr Allen gave up many hours of his own time to run afterschool opportunities to train, develop and compete. This led to opportunities in the school games, county competitions and exposure to elite competitions.
In recent years Mr Allen has developed school’s rugby in North Oxfordshire and forged a strong link with Banbury rugby club where the school’s rugby finals are hosted under floodlights to give the students an experience they won’t forget. Ten schools now compete in this competition. He supports Banbury RFU weekly officiating and undertaking duties at the ground where he is seen as a stalwart at the club. The NOA spokesperson said, “It is due to this link that we have an ever growing number of students taking up the game and having a pathway to sport outside of the school environment”.
Mr Allen’s service to the game of rugby was noted by the rugby legend Sir Clive Woodward. He sent Mr Allen a personal video message, saying “I thought I would add my own tribute to your amazing contribution to rugby… It’s people like you that create the champions of the future so a big thank you from me and have a great retirement”.
Recently Mr Allen has been teaching second generations of families at NOA. The NOA spokesperson said, “There is not a conversation that goes by with an ex-student where they won’t enquire how Mr Allen is and ask us to pass on their best wishes. The majority comment on how, at the time, you may not realise just how much he does for you but when you leave and reflect on just how much time he has given up to make your sporting experience at NOA better you can’t help but admire him”.
NOA’s Principal Sara Billins said, “I hope Dave realises the esteem in which he is held and the impact he has made to the lives of so many children and families and to the sport of rugby over a magnificent career. We all wish him the very best for his retirement”.
Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam