A multi-academy trust has been recognised with a national award for its work to support children who have been excluded from mainstream schools.

Wave Multi Academy Trust, which operates alternative provision academies across Cornwall and Devon, picked up the Outstanding Inclusive Practice Award at the Youth Sport Trust 2024 Conference Awards.

The award acknowledges the work of the St Austell-based trust that has used sport to help young people in their education outside of a mainstream setting.

In Cornwall, Wave provides alternative provision for youngsters through the Restormel Academy in St Austell, the North Cornwall Academy in Bodmin, the Caradon Academy in Liskeard, the Penwith Academy in Penzance and the Nine Maidens Academy at Redruth.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, Wave chief executive Rob Gasson said: “We feel truly privileged tonight. We’re in such good company with fantastic schools and organisation who do incredible work.

“We feel proud to work with the Youth Sport Trust and the young people that we do.

“It’s a reflection of the hard work that all my colleagues put in but also the support we receive from this organisation hosting the event.

“We meet the needs of the most complex and challenging young people in society and believe that a healthy body is a healthy mind so that is reflected in our curriculum.”

Meanwhile, Portreath Primary School, near Redruth, was highly commended in the Outstanding Early Years Practice Award category at the Youth Sport Trust Conference Awards.

Reigning heptathlon world champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson, who attended the event, said: “Sport is what I do and how I’ve been brought up through youth development and all the competitions that I did through this organisation as a kid.

“It’s nice to be here and giving back and it’s great to hear so many inspiring stories.

“I don’t know who I am without sport and that came from PE lessons doing high jump when I was younger.

“From that young age, I found an identity through it where I was known for being good at something.”

More than 120 nominations were received across seven award categories.

Youth Sport Trust chief executive Ali Oliver said: “There have been so many incredibly worthy nominees for the various awards.

“I’m so excited about all the innovation and tremendous practice that is going on across the country to build brighter futures for young people through the power of sport.”

The Youth Sport Trust Annual Conference Awards celebrate schools, settings, trusts and individuals who, working alongside the Youth Sport Trust, have made a real and impactful change to the lives of young people.

Find out how the Youth Sport Trust is building brighter futures for children through sport and play at www.youthsporttrust.org