Bourne Grammar School welcomed Olympic bronze medal winner Beth Tweddle as guest of honour at its annual Sports Presentation Evening.
The school, which earlier this year was named by School Sport Magazine as one of the top 30 state schools for sport in 2013, has developed a truly broad and inclusive programme of PE and sports accessible to all students. The achievements of hundreds of students were recognised by an enthusiastic audience of parents, staff and governors.
Headteacher Jonathan Maddox said: “It was truly a delight to meet Beth. She is charming, engaging and was genuinely interested in our students’ sporting achievements.”
Beth addressed the packed hall with an inspiring account of her career, from her initial interest in gymnastics, to the emergence of her talent and her progression to elite status and international competition as Britain’s greatest ever-female gymnast: a triple world champion, a six-time European champion, a Commonwealth champion and seven-times consecutive national champion. She painted a vivid image of the elation of performing when at one’s peak and the despair of doing so when not, and how injury can wreak havoc on an athlete’s programme of training and competing.
Several of the school’s sports award winners spoke to Beth in a question and answer session.
Athlete Jaime McCrae, who also competes for Nene Valley Harriers and collected an award for Most Outstanding Performance in cross country, said: “I found Beth’s advice on how to prepare for competitions really helpful. It is definitely something I’ll take away from hearing her speak.”
Emma Hornsby, who was awarded a coveted Gold Badge for her Contribution to School Sport, added: “Beth is an amazing role model.”
Mr Maddox added: “Beth was an outstanding guest of honour; she made a gala evening into one which made an enormous impression on everyone involved.
“It was an excellent way to applaud the PE and Games teachers and support colleagues who drive sport here and provide so much for our students, and are able so skilfully to inspire them to achieve such wonderful things.”