Inspirational Visit from Olympians
On Thursday 20 June a group of girls from the Thirds and Removes took part in the Sky Sports Living for Sport initiative. This programme for secondary schools, which is run in association with the Youth Sports Trust, uses sports stars and sports skills to inspire and encourage young people between the ages of 11-16 to reach their full potential. The girls’ mentors for the day were GB sprinter Jeanette Kwakye and paralympian runner Tim Prendergast. Jeanette represented GB at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where she was the first British runner for 24 years, and the only European, to qualify for the 100m final in which she was placed sixth. Tim, who only has 5% vision, won a Gold in Beijing as well as representing New Zealand at both the Athens and London games.
Individual schools devise their own targets for the day. Bancroft’s aim was to inspire some of our younger girls and encourage them to reconnect with sport. In the morning the girls were captivated by Jeanette and Tim who told of their careers, how they recovered from any setbacks and disappointments (such as Jeanette's at not being selected for London 2012) as well as the highlights, like Tim’s Olympic Gold.
In the afternoon, it was on with the sports kit and into the sports hall as the group was joined by some U4th girls, who are among the school’s top athletes, for a session of team building games led by Jeanette and Tim. All the girls threw themselves enthusiastically into the session, which included challenges to build confidence, and leadership. Sports’ teacher Miss Danni Haynes, who organised the day, said, “We want to encourage as many of our girls to get into sport as possible. These sessions were about building enthusiasm and confidence, getting the girls wanting to be active. Jeanette was fantastic with them: she engaged with the group completely and they had a brilliant time. The grins on their faces said it all!”