A News story by Radhika Sharma 24 May 2021

As a recent (and brave!) contestant on the SAS: Who Dares Wins series, Sean Sherwood is by day a pastoral leader at Royton & Crompton E-ACT Academy. We caught up with him to find out about his experience on the physically and emotionally demanding TV show and about his incredible work with young people living in some of the most deprived parts of Greater Manchester.

Tell us a bit about yourself

I’ve worked at Royton & Crompton E-ACT Academy since May 2018, where I began my post as pastoral leader for Year 8. My role involves overseeing the day to day behaviour, attendance, safeguarding and welfare of 234 students within the year group.

We have heard that you’re also a motivational speaker

My qualifications in youth work enabled me to visit various youth centres in deprived areas of Greater Manchester. I would often deliver life coaching sessions to vulnerable young people and offer workshops to them in sport and youth development programmes.

This paved the way for me to set up Sean Anthony Health & Wellness – a platform for disadvantaged or vulnerable people to gain inspiration from individuals who have turned their life around when the odds were against them. This has now evolved and small businesses, sports professionals and even actresses have been in touch to improve their health and wellness.

I’m a firm believer that in order to be the best version of yourself, you must find out who you are and know your purpose in life.

Congratulations on being a contestant on SAS: Who Dares Wins. Tell us about how it was!

The experience was brutal! If I could describe all the emotions that the human body feels rolled into one big ball it would be that! The experience was by far the most psychologically and physically demanding thing I’ve ever encountered. However at the same time, it was the best thing to ever happen to me. It changed my whole outlook on life for the better.

We’ve heard the current headteacher of Royton & Crompton E-ACT Academy, Andrea Atkinson, taught you when you were a student?! Any good stories?!

Yes Andrea did in fact teach me GCSE PE when I was in Year 11. She was also my head of year for a brief period in 2004!

I was once given one week’s detention for defacing the BTEC Sports text books and sticking them onto my coursework. Andrea issued the sanction and made me write lines for the whole week!

What are the three most important things you learned by being on SAS: Who Dares Wins?

Integrity – be honest with yourself at all times no matter what you approach in life. Brutal honesty will always give you the best outcome.

Face your fears – if fear controls you, you will simply never evolve into the person you should be.

Only ever look back to see how far you’ve come – be proud of yourself and always reflect on your progress.

What advice would you give anyone struggling during this pandemic?

My advice would be to find a proactive routine. Set yourself some goals, whether it’s a small task like taking the bins out or walking the dog. Routine is what keeps us in balance and ensures that our mental health has time to release negative endorphins.

What’s the best thing about working at Royton and Crompton E-ACT Academy?

The staff and students! The people I work with are amazing and there is a real team spirit. I’ve worked in over five schools in my time within education, but the team at Royton & Crompton will be friends for life.