LEEDS Trinity University is marking the 2022 Leeds Sports Awards by celebrating one of its longest-serving members of staff.

Sheila King has been changing the lives of students through sport for the past 29 years.

As part of her role as sports development officer, Sheila’s main aim is to support and increase sport participation amongst students at all levels.

Sheila first joined Leeds Trinity in 1993 and has mentored thousands of students throughout her time. Leading up to 2007, she also oversaw the improvement of the University’s sports facilities including the gym, outdoor pitches and running track.

Working closely with the student mental health and wellbeing team, Sheila runs extra-curricular sporting sessions for students, including athletics, badminton and tennis, to support mental health through exercise. She also accompanies students on the university’s international volunteering trip to South Africa.

Sheila leads on sport activities for staff at the university, including setting up a ‘Physical activity for the menopause’ project in collaboration with This Girl Can. Sessions involve learning how weight-bearing exercises can help during menopause as well as looking at correct technique.

During her time at Leeds Trinity, Sheila has also developed various community partnerships, working with a range of partners including local schools, Leeds City Council, Yorkshire Sport Foundation, Leeds United, Skyrac Athletics Club and Cookridge Golf Club.

She said: “The last 29 years working at Leeds Trinity have been extremely rewarding, being able to combine my passion for sport with developing and improving the lives of our students and staff. Through sport, students and staff can feel so many benefits and they often say how much our sport and fitness sessions have improved their mental health.

“This is why I love my job, and I looking forward to engaging with more students and staff in future.”

Sarah Todd, Sports Development Manager, said: “Sheila is a strong ambassador for sport across Leeds. Her charismatic and infectious personality, coupled with her commitment and dedication has seen her support, organise and mentor thousands of university students at Leeds Trinity University over the past 29 years. Her personality galvanises all who it touches and her legacy to sport in the city is long lasting.

“Sheila’s enthusiasm and passion for sport and the students never waivers. She is a consistent, friendly face that provides strength and support to students and staff. Our current students and staff and alumni members talk about Sheila fondly. She is a large part of everyone’s Leeds Trinity story, whether you are interested in sport or not, and she is known for her determination to get everyone active.”

Sheila is also a keen runner and spends her weekends volunteering as a marshal at local races for Kirkstall Harriers.

Leeds Trinity University celebrated Sheila’s achievements in the run-up to the Leeds Sports Awards, which take place today, and she acknowledges the accomplishments of athletes, coaches, administrators, and volunteers across the city.

Leeds Trinity University is sponsoring the Student Sport: Performance and Student Sport: Community categories.