NEWSLETTER

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OUR MISSION

INSPIRE. BELIEVE. ACHIEVE

Athletes In Schools has one simple goal. We aim to continue inspiring the future generation of young sportsmen and women, by successfully creating partnerships with schools that allow us to introduce these students to role models within their local
community.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM US

Athletes in Schools provide a professional service, which allows athletes and schools to walk hand in hand, and make a positive change in the lives of many students throughout the country.

Our engaging activities both educate and challenge students by taking them on an emotional journey.

Fasten your seat belts! Our athletes are the core of our business, and their ability to relate to student creates a positive and successful learning environment for all.

TESTIMONIALS

ALISON VENNHead of Communications - James Allen’s Girls’ School
Hearing Kadeena Cox speak about her repeated struggle with her disability only highlighted her amazing hard work and natural ability. It was truly overwhelming to be able to engage with such a driven, young, successful female athlete and person who has not let anything prevent her from achieving the greatest sporting achievement known to man. Her modesty and intelligence were apparent throughout her whole talk to the school during assembly, but even more so in person. As I was asking her questions about her career and her choice to partake in an activity that we share love for, I could tell the sincerity of her determination. We talked about a sport which has shaped both of our lives and which we feel the same excitement about for a long time, especially about the feeling of riding a wooden velodrome and what it means to be a track cyclist.

Furthermore, what stood out to me was her infectious, positive attitude about working hard and sacrifice and this is what I took away from meeting her. Also, for her to talk about her experiences and her mindset to the whole school, I was proud to have such an outstanding woman talk and encourage a room full of girls from the ages of 11-18, who are still trying to figure out who they are, and could not help but think what an amazing role model we were able to look up to.

Georgie Y13

I was recently fortunate enough to meet Kadeena Cox, a GB parasport athlete who competes in T38 sprints and C4 para-cycling. She is a truly courageous and determined woman. As an all-girls school, I am sure I speak on behalf of everyone, that it was inspirational to hear the experiences of such a successful sports woman, as equality is an ever-growing focus. I am also involved in athletics, so it was especially insightful to hear about Kadeena’s time competing in the Rio 2016 Olympic games, where she got a new world record in the 400m. She told us about the restrictions a foreign country like Brazil can have on performing athletes. The team were not allowed to eat any seafood or fruit that didn’t have a peel on it, leaving Kadeena living off grilled chicken and bananas for weeks! I have competed internationally and know how hard training and competing in warm and humid conditions can be. Taking all these circumstances into account makes Kadeena’s victory’s even more remarkable.

Hearing Kadeena’s story about her transition from an able-bodied athlete to a Paralympian, and seeing how all her hard work and commitment awarded her with such phenomenal achievements, has made me even more motivated to reach this high level in my own sports, and hopefully win an Olympic medal one day too.

Sophie Y13

We had the amazing opportunity of meeting Kadeena Cox, one of the nominees for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2016. Just two years after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, she claimed 4 medals including two golds at Rio 2016 and became Britain’s first Paralympian for nearly three decades to win medals in two sports at the same Paralympics.

In our Y10 PE GCSE class, Kadeena shared her experience of the Paralympics and led us in a spinning lesson. She told us that she started her races in a higher gear than most of her competitors, meaning she needs to generate a lot of power to get herself away from the start line. As a result, her training mostly consists of high intensity drills. Kadeena wanted to show us what it was like to cycle in a high gear so we practiced starting a race from a stationary position on the spin bikes and continued to cycle on for 30 seconds in a high gear. It was a lot harder than we expected! Now we realise the strength and power it takes to be a Paralympic athlete.

Julianna & Millie Y10

During our GCSE PE lesson, Kadeena visited our class and we had the opportunity to participate in a question and answer session where many of our classmates asked questions about her plans for the future. Afterwards we looked at her medals (2 gold, 1 silver, and 1bronze) and did the mannequin challenge. We all had a great time and feel very privileged to be able to meet such an amazing and inspirational athlete!

Bella & Charlotte Y11

MARK DAKINSt Giles CE Primary School
Richard Buck, Laura Samuel and Mia were fantastic with the children and very inspiring. Richard is an accomplished speaker who presented very well indeed. Mia also shared her journey very well indeed and worked hard all day coaching our youngest children.
ALEX YOUNGMANExtended Schools Achievement Leader - Sunnyside Spencer Academy
The event was a massive success! The children really enjoyed having Sarah Davies in school delivering some weightlifting sessions, especially as it was something they had never experienced.

Sarah sharing her story with the children in the assembly was very inspiring to our children, the whole day was awesome and I can’t think of anything that would’ve made the experience better for our school!

MRS R CHEVALIERPE Department - Oxted School
We had a brilliant experience with our visit from Mercy Brown & the event was a huge success.

Mercy spoke so well to our big group of students & they could really relate to her friendly, relaxed manner. The best thing was that she even took questions from the students & parents at the end.

CARRIE MERTENSExternal Relations Officer - Hull Collegiate School
On Wednesday 8 March Sarah Davies who is the current British and European weightlifting champion, spent the day at school running PE workshops for pupils in both Prep and Senior School. Sarah talked in two assemblies about very inspiring story based around the difficulties she has faced in the sport, and how she has overcome them which provoked many questions.

Pupils enjoyed some fun and challenging activities including mini hurdles, batons and lightweight bars used for weightlifting techniques. It proved a very noisy lesson which pupils thoroughly enjoyed.

Sarah ended the day having in-depth discussions with the current Year 11 GCSE pupils about elite performance, nutrition and training programmes.

Sarah has represented both Team GB & Team England at an international level, competing on both a European championships, World championships and Commonwealth games, representing her country as one of UK’s top athletes. She was once a national level Gymnast, before becoming a beauty queen. Only to then turn to weightlifting and within her first major year of doing the sport winning the British championships. Since then she has not looked back, narrowly missing Olympic selection.

Huge thanks Sarah for coming to Hull Collegiate School and wishing you lots of luck and success in next year’s Commonwealth Games and the future.

AMANDA JENKINSPost 16 Admin Officer - Maltby Academy
We were delighted to welcome Kadeena Cox to our Annual Sports Presentation. She was our guest speaker and gave a strong message to students, parents and invited guests of determination and to never give up.

I would like to thank Umar at Athletes in Schools for making this happen. Nothing was too much trouble and he gave a very professional and responsive service.

I would like to wish you both a merry Christmas and best wishes for 2017. Good luck to Kadeena at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, we are all routing for her.

NATHAN COOPERAssistant Headteacher - Pondhu Primary School
A thoroughly engaging and inspirational day for all children in our school. The athletes who came (Kieran and Matt) were engaging and relevant to the children and really helped to reinforce the message of fun, resilience and hard work, that not only helps to produce success in sport but school and life chances thereafter. Wholeheartedly recommended.
JAMES LESLIEStudent Talent Spotting Coordinator - The University of Leeds
We hired the athletes to give a talk for 50 students who are enrolled on our Talent Spotting programme here at The University of Leeds. As a team we were unsure of what to expect, having previously used other motivational speakers and corporate events teams in the past. We were not disappointed, the athletes gave an inspiring speech and left the young people feeling motivated to succeed here at our university, the fact that they arrived with not one speaker but in fact two professional athletes only added further impact. Evaluations of the session were positive with many of the students commenting on how inspired they felt afterwards. Compared to speakers I have used in the past, Umar and his team combine humor with key messages you want to be delivered to your audience and left them with a real buzz about their future. We would have no hesitation recommending this company to deliver at any educational event to a group of young people and due to the success of the event, have booked them again for our flagship summer school in August.
KIM CLARKEHead of Physical Education - King James's School
Many Thanks to Athletes Nick and Umar for inspiring our students with the talk on their lives, and how they have overcome what others may perceive as barriers to being successful. Our students listened carefully to what they had to say and asked some very interesting questions – and got some very honest answers.
All of our students engaged in the athletics and had a very enjoyable and educational day.
SEAN HAZLEDENSpringfield Centre Pupil Referral Unit
Many Thanks to Athletes Nick and Umar for inspiring our students with the talk on their lives, and how they have overcome what others may perceive as barriers to being successful. Our students listened carefully to what they had to say and asked some very interesting questions – and got some very honest answers.
All of our students engaged in the athletics and had a very enjoyable and educational day.
PRESS RELEASEWestbourne Academy
To coincide with Anti-Bullying Week 2016 (14th – 18th November), British sprinter Deji Tobais delivered a series of inspiring assemblies to pupils in years 7 to 10 at Westbourne Academy in Ipswich.

Deji spoke to pupils about the challenges he faced at school, combining his school work with his daily athletics training and how he handled bullying after growing up with partial deafness caused by childhood meningitis. The 24-year old 100m and 200m British sprinter is currently ranked 35th in the country.

Students learned how Deji achieved his current athletic success by focusing on his strengths. Deji told pupils that, as a child, he became involved with athletics after recognising that whilst he had pace, he did not have the stamina required to follow his dream of becoming a professional footballer. Since competing in his first heptathlon aged 10, which Deji entered and won six out of seven events, he now travels all over the world to compete at international level representing Great Britain.

Pupils heard how Deji has overcome injuries and setbacks in his athletics career and how his passion for athletics has given him the confidence to put a stop to bullying.

After each presentation, pupils had the opportunity to question Deji about all manner of things such as his fitness regime, what he studied at university, which famous athletes he had met and what advice he could give to younger athletes who want to follow their dreams to compete at a professional level.

The inspiring visit helped Westbourne Academy pupils to understand that it is possible to overcome any adversity that they may face and raised their aspirations showing how determination and hard work can lead to success.

Garry Trott, Principal at Westbourne Academy commented: “We are grateful to Deji for spending the day with us and for sharing his inspirational life experiences and wisdom with our young people. Deji was clearly at ease with a series of teenage audiences and his warmth and openness is to be commended. Students were very appreciative of what Deji had to say and they were able to relate to him in many ways.”

ANN PATELBullers Wood School
Many thanks for arranging the visits of athletes to our anti-bullying assemblies this week.

Each athlete engaged the students and was able to give them a real insight into the elements that have gone into their achievements. The messages all complemented our current school training on Growth Mindset and Resilience. Athletes also shared their experiences of bullying in a way which really interested and educated the students.

Please pass on our warmest thanks to Jack Andrew, Shona Richards and Yasmin Miller. I know that they were nervous, presenting to such a large group of students of varied ages (500 students from 11yrs old to 18yrs old), but each one of them rose to the challenge. They all spoke very confidently, very audibly and in a very engaging and relevant manner. I think their anti-bullying messages will have carried much weight with the students. They are used to hearing the messages from staff, but will have listened that much more attentively to young successful athletes.

JUSTINE MOUNTFORDKnole Academy
Knole Academy was very pleased to work with three exceptional athletes. Deji Tobais and Laviai Nielsen spent the day talking to groups students about their journey and, in the final session of the day took a group of gifted and talented students out for a training session. The students reported that it was a day that they would remember and that they felt motivated about the challenges that lay ahead of them. The athletes were friendly, informative and full of enthusiasm. Ryan, a para-Olympian who visited in the evening to give out the prizes and make a speech at the Awards Evening. Ryan’s speech was truly inspirational. The audience were entranced and at times did not know whether to laugh or cry. He made all of the people in the room think that if he could keep fighting, despite the adversity he has faced, then so can we.

Ryan stayed long after the event had finished to talk to the long queue of people waiting to shake his hand and have a photograph taken with him.

JULIE IRVINGBusiness Manager - Holy Family Catholic Academy
I am pleased to attach a report and a sample of pictures that will be appearing in our Autumn Newsletter.
STEPHANIE FRENCHRyedale School
We were delighted to host Olympian Laura Weightman (1500m runner) – at Ryedale School on Thursday 6th October. She began the day with a truly inspirational assembly to Upper and Lower school students explaining her journey to becoming an Olympic athlete. GCSE PE students in Year 10 and 11 then had the opportunity to take part in a Q&A session with Laura in the studio. Students in Years 8, 9 and 10 were lucky enough to have Laura leading their PE lessons and, in addition, she delivered a ‘masterclass’ over lunchtime for our very successful cross country teams.

Laura’s message was simple – success does not just happen, you have to work hard for it. She shared her belief with our students that although there will be disappointments along the way, with self belief, determination and the right guidance you can be succesful in your chosen field.
Ryedale students will remember this day for a long time and we will all be following Laura’s career with interest.

Thank you Laura for inspiring our students and we wish you every success in the coming season!

NICKI DAVISTeachers Conference - Grand Hotel, Torquay
Feedback on Rhys Jones who made a speech at a Conference from the attendees.

(Excellent = 1, Good = 2, Satisfactory = 3, Unsatisfactory = 4)

Rhys Jones Paralympian

Rating:
1 36 86%
2 4 9.5%
3 0 0%
4 0 0%
No answer 2 4.5%

Comments:
· Thank you – you are an inspiration
· Fab!!!
· A truly inspirational young man
· Excellent inspirational speaker – what a way to end the conference. I feel very humble
· Loved it – inspired!
· What a young man!

LESLEY O'HANLONOffice Manager - Woodland View Junior School
We would just like to thank Deji for a great day on Tuesday the children thoroughly enjoyed having him in school and they all took to him immediately and fully participated in his sessions. The feedback from parents was also very positive, a lot of the children went home really excited and enthusiastically shared their experience with their families.
NINA WILLIAMSHowe Dell School
Dannish and Clieo where absolutely fantastic, they had clearly thought hard about how they would engage the children with their assembly and presentation and this resulted in all the children thoroughly engrossed and in anticipation of what they would say.
BERNI CREHANEllowes Hall School
Edi Okoru came to Ellowes Hall to deliver a high intensity training session to our elite athletes. Our students loved the session and definitely found it way more challenging than their usual training regimes.Our Year 11 heptathlete stated that it made her realise how much more training she would need to do to become a top flight athlete.
LAURA BROCKLEHURSTVicarage Primary School
Thank you so much, the children loved every second of it and many have been inspired to continue their sporting clubs and various other commitments. Please get in contact with my deputy head if there are any other days like this could happen nearer summer or next year.
HELEN MARRIOTTDeputy Headteacher - Little Ilford School
We were thrilled with Ryan’s presentation: he was such a compelling speaker and made a big impression on staff, students and parents at the event. I would certainly recommend him to others.
JENNIE MATTHEWSHorton Grange Primary
We absolutely loved having the athletes in school. They were really flexible with how we wanted to run the day and the children were thrilled to have them in. There was a real buzz.
HAMISH MCDOWELLAdamsrill Primary School
The event generally went very well.

The classes and teachers enjoyed the full school assembly. Both Amy and Rion had a very different delivery style which worked well.

The school was very impressed by the way they both presented themselves and a lot of teachers found Rion and the way he spoke to the children very motivating.

The lessons went well and I had a lot of feedback from teachers who gained some valuable professional development.

Seeing the teachers participating in Rion’s lessons with their classes is what i enjoyed the most.