Paralympian Fran helps bring sport to life at Gleed

Students on the Sky Sports Living for Sport programme at Sir John Gleed School, Spalding, with retired Paralympic swimmer Fran Williamson.  Photos supplied.
Students on the Sky Sports Living for Sport programme at Sir John Gleed School, Spalding, with retired Paralympic swimmer Fran Williamson. Photos supplied.
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Sir John Gleed School is giving its students the chance to experience sport with help from a Paralympics medallist.

Retired swimmer Fran Williamson (29) met about 20 students taking part in the Sky Sports Living for Sport programme which the school has run for the past four years.

Amelia Knight and Hannah Ward with Fran Williamson.  Photo supplied.

Amelia Knight and Hannah Ward with Fran Williamson. Photo supplied.

Fran, born in Sunderland but who moved to the African country of Malawi with her family in 1988, won four silver and two bronze medals at the 2004 and 2008 Paralympic Games in Athens and Beijing respectively.

Ian Billinghurst, PE teacher at Sir John Gleed School, said: “Fran came in to give our students an inspirational presentation on her life and the obstacles she had to overcome to achieve what she did in sport and in life.

“She was really inspirational in talking about what she had to come in her life, having been diagnosed with athetoid cerebral palsy and a speech impediment.

“The students really took to what she said and Fran was very complimentary about our students who were a pleasure to watch as they interacted with Fran and gained so much from the day.”

Fran Williamson with George Levesley, Bradley Froggatt, Zack Brown, Sean Agar.  Photo supplied.

Fran Williamson with George Levesley, Bradley Froggatt, Zack Brown, Sean Agar. Photo supplied.

Following her talk, students planned and prepared a series of sporting sessions which they will present at primary schools in Spalding in a few weeks time.

Mr Billinghurst said: “The students who are on the programme have been chosen because they are doing well at school, so we want to give them some backing and build up their confidence.

“A few of them are thinking of going into teaching, so we’re showing them what it means to plan and prepare lessons to help them make a decision as to whether teaching is what they want to do.”

Fran said: “I had a fantastic day at Sir John Gleed School and it was really rewarding to work with the students to help them to realise their potential, even more so when they are as engaged as they were at this schhool.

“It was great to see them working together and using their imaginations to create new games to deliver to younger students.

“I can’t wait to return to the school later in the term to see how they are getting on.”