Home LearningDid You Know? Pearson Middle East Honours the Winner of BTEC Award for Sport Learner of the Year 2021

Pearson Middle East Honours the Winner of BTEC Award for Sport Learner of the Year 2021

by Eddie Rayner

Pearson, the world’s learning company, has announced the 11th annual BTEC Awards winners, recognising outstanding learners, tutors, teachers, colleges and schools. The award ceremony, held online for the second year due to Covid-19, was co-hosted by Flex (presenter of the United View, YouTube influencer and BTEC alumnus and ambassador), and Emma Care (sports presenter).

Nineteen category award winners were celebrated from around the world in subjects such as Health and Social Care, Performing Arts, Engineering, IT, Business and Sport.

UAE Gold Award winner, Megan Piechowiak from Jumeirah English Speaking School, Dubai, was awarded the prestigious BTEC Award for Sport Learner of the Year 2021; she stood out to the judges because of her passion for sport and helping others.  In addition to achieving top predicted grades in her BTEC Sport programme, Megan also trains regularly and is a certified umpire and coach. The only female learner on her course, she is a role model for other female athletes.  During Covid-19 online learning, Megan independently created workout videos for younger learners to help them keep fit during lockdown, and she works as an assistant gymnastics coach for under-five-year-olds once a week.   

Commenting on her BTEC Award, Megan Piechowiak said: “I was honoured to be nominated and surprised when I won. This is a huge accomplishment for me, and I’m proud that my hard work, dedication and passion for sport have been recognised by others.”


During Covid-19 online learning, Megan independently created workout videos for younger learners to help them keep fit during lockdown


Cindy Rampersaud, Senior Vice President for BTEC and Apprenticeships at Pearson, said: “2021 has been another extraordinary year for our BTEC learners, tutors, teachers, colleges and schools, and I am delighted that today we are able to come together and celebrate this year’s winners – and all of the individuals who will be awarded a BTEC qualification this year. The hard work and commitment demonstrated by our award winners, all of whom have achieved great things during a time of unprecedented disruption, is extraordinary, and I am proud we are able to celebrate their achievements.”

BTEC Sport qualifications teach learners the knowledge required to pursue a career in sport. Learners will also develop the skills for a range of sport-related pathways, from sports coaching to gym management. The qualification can help learners work at the cutting-edge of elite sport, supporting top athletes as sports scientists, sports psychologists, strength and conditioning coaches, sports therapists, coaches, and many other roles. Learners may also opt to pursue a career in teaching, community coaching or working within the health and leisure sectors. Opportunities in sport today are exciting and vast – a BTEC Sport course can help learners be prepared for their chosen next step and provide extensive career guidance to support them.


Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE), have spent more than $65 billion on sports development


Nearly a million learners across the globe completed BTEC courses over the past year; the career-focused qualifications are a vital route for those aspiring to work in sectors such as IT, business, the creative industries, healthcare, engineering, construction and future industries. In fact, a recent report by pwc shows that governments in the Middle East are actively seeking to use sport as a way to diversify their economies and build social cohesion. Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE), have spent more than $65 billion on sports development in order to nurture and solidify the developing sports ecosystem.

Among those presenting awards were several BTEC alumni, including Gareth Ellis-Unwin, Academy-Award-Winning producer and Head of Film and Animation at ScreenSkills, Jamal Edwards MBE, entrepreneur and founder of SB.TV, and Lucy Fallon, award-winning actress.

Silver and Bronze BTEC Award winners in the Middle East

Silver Awards

BTEC IT and Computing Learner of the Year 2021

  • Noor Sharaf, British School of Bahrain, Bahrain

BTEC International Centre/Institution of the Year 2021

  • Westford University College, UAE

Bronze Awards

BTEC Business and Enterprise Learner of the Year 2021

  • Ben Woolas,  Dubai British School Emirates Hills, UAE
  • Kirsten Gray, Dubai English Speaking College, UAE

BTEC Creative Media Learner of the Year 2021

  • Heidi Ruse, Dubai English Speaking College, UAE

BTEC International Centre/Institution of the Year 2021

  • The British School Al Khubairat, UAE

BTEC Sport Learner of the Year 2021

  • David Beamish, Gems Wellington Academy, UAE

The final judging panel comprised of: 

  • Cindy Rampersaud, Senior Vice President, BTEC & Apprenticeships, Pearson
  • Jane Baker, Vice-President, Higher Education Qualifications, Pearson
  • Derek Richardson, Vice President and Senior Responsible Officer Quality Services & Governance, Pearson
  • Claire Riddle, Vice-President, Marketing, BTEC & Apprenticeships, Pearson
  • Shane Mann, Managing Director, LSECT
  • Kasim Choudhry, Thinkfest National Director