Southfield School were the toast of Wembley after being honoured for their sporting commitments at the Aviva and Daily Telegraph School Sport Matters Awards.

The Bradford school, who offer pupils the chance to try a variety of sports ranging from swimming through to dancing and rock climbing, were presented the award for excellence in disabled sport by Olympic swimming champion Duncan Goodhew and war hero Major Phil Packer.

Director of sport Barry Holden collected the prize at a star-studded ceremony, where he rubbed shoulders with the likes of Olympic sprint champion Mark Lewis-Francis, former England hooker Brian Moore and World Cup winner George Cohen.

And Holden, who saw 80 per cent of his pupils take part in inter-school sport last year, admitted the trip to the home of football was one he would never forget.

“We are dedicated to giving our pupils three hours of sport each week, which is well above the guidelines,” said Holden.

“We believe in the value of sport and how it can improve people’s lives and we are certainly seeing the benefits of the work we have done.

“It is great that we have picked up the award and it is a vindication of all the hard work the staff and students have put in.”

Southfield School was hand-picked by an 11-strong judging panel including Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, former Arsenal and England defender Lee Dixon and European 800 metres bronze medalist Jenny Meadows.

And after presenting the award, Goodhew – who won 100m breaststroke gold at the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow – insisted Southfield School were the perfect example of the importance of school sport.

“It is very important to have children active at school because that is the basis for everything else,” said Goodhew.

“It is important that we encourage children to be competitive because that is the real world and we saw some real winners at the awards.

“I found sport gave me my own identity at school and it allowed me to enjoy my studies and that is very important.

“Sport in school is vital and the people getting their awards really deserve their recognition.”

* The Aviva and Daily Telegraph School Sport Matters Awards recognise outstanding achievements in school sport across the UK and form part of Aviva’s commitment to give all children the opportunity to get active by 2012 through the Aviva Academy. Go to