Courtney Hammond has distinguished herself in many ways since she began her school career at Ahipara Primary eight years ago, and now those qualities have been recognised with a Sir Peter Blake Young Leader Award.

Awards are presented around the country every year in recognition and celebration of what the Sir Peter Blake Trust describes as "that spark of leadership in our young people".

One nomination is accepted per primary and intermediate school, of pupils aged nine to 13 years, nominees being required to have demonstrated at least some of the qualities of integrity, determination and the will to succeed, the ability to be a team builder, leader and member, the ability work hard and an ability to have fun.

Courtney Hammond had all those qualities in spades, Ahipara School principal Jackie Osborne said.


She described the Year 8 pupil, who she will lose to secondary school next year, as having outstanding leadership qualities, manifested in ways including her chairing of the student council, and her willingness to step in when others might come up short.

She did a wonderful job of greeting visitors to the school, and of giving them their first impression. She was also now training other pupils. as young as Year 6, to follow her example.

"Nothing is too much trouble for Courtney," Ms Osborne added.

"She thinks laterally, she pays attention to detail and she thinks of others.

"When we were talking about what changes might be made here in response to what the pupils wanted she pointed out that the smaller children tend to be overlooked, and don't get much of a say.

"She has good balance too. Academically she is a high achiever but she's also involved in and succeeds in a lot of sport. She is well thought of by the staff and children, and she is a very good ambassador for the children and for the school."

The award included a certificate and medal, while the presentation was part of Red Socks Day, for which the school raised $274.