Sky Academy Ambassdor and global sporting icon, Thierry Henry, made a surprise visit to South Wales today to present 16-year-old Emma Mason with the Sky Sports Living for Sport Student of the Year award for Wales.

In his first appointment as a Sky Academy Ambassador, Henry took on the role of a school supply teacher to surprise Emma and give her the award, broadcast live on Sky Sports News HQ.

Emma will now attend the Sky Sports Living for Sport Awards at Sky Studios in London this weekend to discover whether she will be crowned the overall UK & Ireland Student of the Year. She will be up against the winners for England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and the Awards will be broadcast on Sky Sports 1 on Sunday 29 March at 7.30pm.

The Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of students and teachers in using sports stars and the skills learnt through sport to build life skills in young people as a result of their involvement in the programme. Sky Sports Living for Sport is part of Sky Academy, a set of initiatives using the power of TV, creativity and sport to help one million young people in the UK and Ireland build practical skills and experience to unlock their potential.

Thierry Henry said: “Emma is a fantastic example of the effect Sky Sports Living for Sport can have on young people and I’m delighted to present her with the Student of the Year award for Wales. The life skills learned through sport can be applied to all areas of life and Emma managed to turn her life around and reach her potential since being involved in Sky Sports Living for Sport. She’s a deserving winner and I’ll be tuning in on Sunday to see which of our five winners picks up the overall UK & Ireland Student of the Year Award.”

Emma was selected as the Student of the Year winner for Wales by a panel of judges for participating in the Sky Sports Living for Sport programme which helped give her the tools and confidence to face the pressures of teenage life and help reignite her passion for swimming. Emma was a model student but became withdrawn from her academic and sporting commitments after feeling overwhelmed by the pressures of trying to balance her school responsibilities, sports commitments and everyday home life.

Participating in Sky Sports Living for Sport presented Emma with the tools to overcome her lack of aspiration and commitment to swimming, school and her personal life. Through her new-found desire and dedication, Emma soon rediscovered the drive she needed to turn her life around.

Sky Sports Living for Sport Athlete Mentor Craig Figes inspired Emma while working with her on the programme, as he described the importance of mental toughness and breaking down barriers. Figes’ words combined with the life skills Emma gained through the Sky Sports Living for Sport project certainly had a positive influence on the talented swimmer. Emma soon had motivation to compete again representing Wales and winning a silver medal in the annual European ‘Superschools’ competition while also recording a personal best time.

Emma’s teacher Rebecca Albert said: “I was at home after another busy day at Pen Y Dre High School when an email from Sky Sports Living for Sport flashed up on my laptop. ‘I am thrilled to inform you that Emma Morgan has been shortlisted for this year’s Student of the Year award!’ I had to read the email five times, I felt absolutely ecstatic! I was so delighted that Emma had been recognised for her fantastic attitude towards the project and to sport and school life in general. This is her moment to shine and I could not feel more proud.”

The Sky Sports Living for Sport initiative has been running in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust since 2003 and this academic year alone over 1500 UK secondary schools and 175 Irish secondary schools will take part.

To get involved and sign up to Sky Sports Living for Sport visit