Students from a school in Menston and its partner school in South Africa have been presented with awards for creative writing and art.

St Mary’s Catholic High School, Menston, and Mnyakanya School in rural Kwa Zulu Natal – both part of the acclaimed Bambisanani Partnership – ran competitions based on the theme of ‘The Power of Sport’ over the past year.

For the past six years the two schools have gained international acclaim for their work using sport as a catalyst to promote education, health, global citizenship and leadership.

The Partnership was recently given an international Diana Award, under a scheme set up as a lasting legacy to Princess Diana's belief in the power of young people to change the world.

The 2010 World Cup in South Africa and the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London have always been an important focus for the Bambisanani Partnership.

So have the words of Nelson Mandela, who said: “Sport has the power to unite people in a way that little else can.

“Sport can create hope where there was once only despair. It breaks down racial barriers. It laughs in the face of all kinds of discrimination. Sport speaks to people in a language they can understand.”

More than 600 students from both schools entered the competitions.

For both creative writing and art, three bespoke trophies were commissioned.

These have been presented to the 12 recipients for their outstanding work. All students that took part in the competition received a specially-designed certificate.

David Geldart, founder of the Bambisanani Partnership and assistant head at St. Mary’s, said: “It was amazing to see how this theme captivated students in both schools.

“More than 500 students entered the competitions on a voluntary basis, students of all ages and abilities. These were very inclusive competitions.

“There is certainly something about sport that has the potential to motivate people in a range of ways.”

Some of the artwork has been entered in an international competition, and this spring a book will be completed about the competition featuring the work of students.

Exhibitions of this work are also being planned in the UK and South Africa.

Winners of the art awards were Mcebiseni Mngadi, Samukela Mkhanazi, Kholka Magwaza, Ciaran Miller, Sara Riley and Madeline Smith.

Winners of the creative writing awards were Sinenhlanhla Khangile, Thabile Magwaza, Hlengiue Zuma, Alessandra Valle-Metaxas, Aidan Corkett-Beirne and Rebecca Wilson.