Mark Sawtell is a PE teacher at Focus School in Stoke by Nayland, Suffolk, having taught for 14 years at Moulsham High School in Chelmsford.
What school did you go to?
Hamilton Primary School in Colchester then Caterham School in Surrey.
What’s your earliest sporting memory?
Playing football for my primary school where I managed to make the school team as a year 4 pupil.
Who were your sporting heroes growing up?
Ian Rush. The man is a Liverpool legend. I’ve still got my Crown Paints kit from the Eighties. Gary Lineker and Paul Gascoigne were also heroes of mine.
What your best sporting memories of school?
My best sporting memory has to be beating St Dunstan’s College 10-8 at rugby with the first fifteen in secondary school. They had beaten us every year from third form (year 7) and in the last year of school we got sweet revenge.
What is your worst sporting memories of school?
My worst memory is dislocating my left shoulder in a home rugby match against Eltham College 1st XV. I can remember being in absolutely excruciating pain and was absolutely devastated because I missed the end of a very successful season.
Can you recall a memorable sporting teacher?
My old PE teacher from Caterham School Pat Lavery. He was an absolute legend of a PE teacher.
What sports do you play these days?
I play football, golf and squash recreationally.
In what other ways do you stay healthy?
I have got into cycling in the last few years and have competed in a few triathlons and duathlons. I really enjoy it and it’s also a great way to keep fit and healthy.
What is your favourite sporting memory?
Being selected for the North Essex U10 Schools football team was a great moment.
What’s been your most embarrassing sporting moment?
I was playing golf with my dad at a posh golf club with some of his friends who were members and they obviously all played regularly. I was in my teens and fairly new to the sport and it was a case of spending most of the day looking for lost balls, hacking several divots out of possibly every fairway and feeling utterly embarrassed. Needless to say I didn’t get invited back.
What’s your biggest sporting bugbear?
People who ‘big up’ other people stating they are really good at a particular sport but in actual fact it turns out that they are pretty average. There is no need.
What’s the best thing about teaching PE?
Physical education is without doubt a key subject in schools as it allows all young people to develop physically, socially and mentally. PE and sport can make that difference to a young person’s life whether it is to increase self-esteem and self-confidence, develop well-being and health or to strive to be the best in a particular sport. I enjoy working with a wide range of young people within a sporting environment and know how important this subject plays on a daily basis.
When was the last time you cried at a sporting event?
The 2003 Rugby World Cup victory in Australia. That final was an amazing match.
Which three sports people would you like to have around for dinner and why?
I’ve gone for fairly conservative choices but it would be Jonny Wilkinson, David Beckham and Jessica Ennis Hill. They seem down-to-earth people who have all excelled in their sports and are three perfect role models. They would be interesting people to share dinner with.
MY SPORTING LIFE