EXCEPTIONAL Belfast Met student, Stefanie McCluskey, celebrated receiving the UK BTEC Student of the Year Award for Sport 2020, which was presented by Olympic Gold medallist Max Whitlock.

The class of 2020 has thrived in unprecedented circumstances, so their success has been acknowledged and celebrated during an award ceremony hosted online.

Stefanie, 29, who has just completed her second year Level 3 Sports and Exercise Science Extended Diploma, and was delighted to receive her award, said: “It is a privilege to have won this award which has given me the motivation to continue working as hard as I can, and go as far as I can in sports education.

“It has inspired me to be the best I can be and has just confirmed that I am on the correct path to my dream future.”

“During my course at Belfast Met I gained more confidence in my own abilities, and had the opportunity to work in a school as a Sports coach which I enjoyed so much that I would now love to be a Sports educator.

“I’m also very interested in Sports Science research and how it can help women to take time out for themselves, and improve mental health.

“I wasn’t academic at school but always loved Sports, and after working in the fitness industry for 10 years, I started the BTEC Level 3 Sports and Exercise Science Extended Diploma, and haven’t looked back.

“With this qualification I plan to go on to study a Sports and Exercise Science degree in September.”

Stefanie’s Sports lecturer Lynsey Sloan from the School of Health, Wellbeing and Inclusion said: “We are so proud that Stefanie has won this award.

“It is testament to her hard work and inspiring attitude. Stefanie richly deserves this recognition. She is one of those students who has the ability to motivate all those who come into contact with her, and is a really positive role model who has been a pleasure to teach and have as a student at Belfast Met.”         

Stefanie also works as a Personal Trainer so the COVID crisis reduced her classes substantially. 

It was during the lockdown that she developed ‘Fit and Flow’ with yoga teacher friend Joanne Gray which combines Yoga and Fitness to focus on strength and movement using yoga balance and breathing techniques.

This blend of mindfulness and movement resulted in their first cycle of online live classes recently ‘Fit and Flow with Steff and Jo’ which has attracted over 40 people who are improving their fitness from home.

For more information on courses at Belfast Met go to www.belfastmet.ac.uk