Inspired Vol 3 (2013)

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I learned to never give up on your dreams. Try your best, and never say you can’t, when you can Lauren Donnelly St Colms High


n o i t a r e gen spired in

Reflections from London 2012

this is

an award winning



We call it ‘Inspire>Aspire’ because it lead help define their own aspirations. Every a lasting legacy in young people.

Inside the magazine we capture some of us that they have been inspired and hav

ds young people through a process of discovering more about themselves and about others to poster completed in this way is first-hand evidence of how the London 2012 Games have left

f the most compelling content from inspirational young people across the UK who have shown ve the aspiration to lead a generation.


We would like to thank the following organisations for making the values poster programme possible Themission missionofofthe theJohn John Templeton Foundation to serve a philanthropic catalyst for discovery The Templeton Foundation is toisserve as a as philanthropic catalyst for discovery in areas in areas engaging life’squestions. biggest questions. These range questions from explorations the laws engaging life’s biggest These questions from range explorations into the lawsinto of nature andofthe nature and the universe tonature questions on gratitude, the nature of love, gratitude, forgiveness, and creativity. universe to questions on the of love, forgiveness, and creativity. Our vision is derived from c research and Our vision is derived from Sir John Templeton’s commitment to rigorous scienti Sir John Templeton’s commitment to rigorous scientific research and related scholarship. The Foundation’s related scholarship. The Foundation’s motto “How little we know, how eager to learn” exempli es motto “How little we know, how eager to learn” exemplifies our support for open-minded inquiry and our our support for open-minded inquiry and our hope for advancing human progress through hope for advancing human progress through groundbreaking discoveries. groundbreaking discoveries.

cant D.C. Thomson& Thomson &Co. Co.Ltdis Ltd isa aprivate private company company based based in Dundee. D.C. Dundee. The The company companyhas hassigni significant interests in in UK UK newspaper newspaper and interests and magazine magazine publishing. publishing. Amongst Amongst other other publications publications ititowns ownsThe The Dundee Courier Courier and The Aberdeen . It Italso Dundee and Advertiser Advertiser,, The Aberdeen Press Press and andJournal Journaland andThe TheSunday SundayPost Post. alsoowns owns The Beano, Beano, The The Dandy The Dandy and and Woman’s Woman’s magazines magazines My My Weekly Weekly and and The The People PeopleFriend. Friend.ItItalso alsoowns owns Puzzler Media Ltd., (one of the world’s largest publishers of Puzzle Magazines, Crosswords and Puzzler Media Ltd., (one of the world’s largest publishers of Puzzle Magazines, Crosswords and Sudoku), and Parragon Publishing Ltd., which publishes and sells some 90 million books each year Sudoku), andThe Parragon Publishing Ltd., which publishes and sells some books year worldwide. company has interests in commercial television, and90inmillion Internet andeach online worldwide. The iscompany has interests in commercial television, and in Internet and online businesses, and a major shareholder in Mothercare. businesses, and is a major shareholder in Mothercare.

The Garfield Gar eld Weston Weston Foundation Foundation was was established eld Weston, The established in in 1958 1958bybyWillard WillardGar Garfield Weston,a aCanadian Canadian businessman who arrived in the UK with his family in 1932. He was the creator of Associated British businessman who arrived in the UK with his family in 1932. He was the creator of Associated British Foods and the Foundation was endowed with the donation of family-owned company shares. As a Foods the Foundation was the endowed with the donation of family-owned company shares. result, and the Foundation is today ultimate controller of the company. The trustees today are allAs alineal result,descendants the Foundation is today the ultimate controller of the company. The trustees today of the founder and they remain committed to continuing the ethos thatare hasall lineal of the and they remain to continuing the ethos has made madedescendants the Foundation onefounder of the largest and most committed respected charitable institutions in that the country. the Foundation of the largesttoand respected charitable institutions in the country. It gives It gives them asone much pleasure helpmost a small local community as a major national organisation and they are pleasure preparedtoto consider covering a wide rangeorganisation of charitable them as much help a small applications local community as a major national andactivity. they are www.gar prepared consider applications covering a wide range of charitable activity.

EndersEnders Analysis was founded in 1997 in to 1997. provide senior corporate with an analysts alternative Claire founded Enders Analysis Claire is one of the managers most experienced and perspectiveinonUK 3Gand and European the Internet fromand the uniformly optimistic industry andAnalysis, City research forecasters media telecoms. Her company, Enders is onebefore of the its subscribers research generated by a programme the bubble burst. Today, Enders Analysis in o ers leading independent research companies the UK and focuses on research, analysis and specialist covering the major commercial, regulatory and strategic issues in mobile and xed line telecoms, expertise across the UK and European sectors. Some 150 financial, corporate and regulatory TV and the Internet, as well as the major content businesses such as music, publishing and organisations subscribe to on Enders Analysis’ independent research advertising. Our focus is the European markets but we assessreports. all key trends and regulatory issues in our sectors in major markets such as the US or Japan.

Founded Russell Investments Investmentsisis aa global financial services firm addressing the the needs needsofof nancial services rm addressing Founded in in 1936, Russell nancialadvisers, advisers, market market participants participants and and individuals. institutionalinvestors, investors,financial institutional individuals. Over Over the thecourse courseofof ne and its history, history, Russell’s Russell’s innovations innovations have have come come to its to de define andset setindustry industrystandards. standards.The Theresults: results:$2$2 trillionininassets assetsunder underadvisement advisementand and $155 $155 billion trillion billion in in assets assets under under management managementas asofofDecember December31,31, 2010, and more than $3.9 trillion of assets benchmarked to Russell Indexes as of December 31, 2009. 2010, and more than $3.9 trillion of assets benchmarked to Russell Indexes as of December 31, 2009.

The Scientific & Medical Network

The Scienti Scientificc and Medical Network Network was founded in in 1973 1973bybyGeorge GeorgeBlaker. Blaker.ItIthas hasgrown grownover over3535 The years publications on on interdisciplinary years into into an aneducational educationalcharity charitydelivering deliveringcourses, courses,events eventsand and publications interdisciplinary ideas ideas in in science, science, medicine, medicine, philosophy philosophyand andspirituality. spirituality.The Theemerging emerginginterdisciplinary interdisciplinary elds fieldsof of noetic noetic science science and and consciousness consciousness studies studies are are key key areas areasofofinterest. interest.We Wearearea amembership membership organisation. searching organisation. Our Our members members form form part part ofofa aworldwide worldwidecommunity communityofofindividuals individualswho whoareare searching beyond conventional scienti c and religious paradigms for new answers and new questions. beyond conventional scientific and religious paradigms for new answers and new questions. Membership is open to all who agree with our mission, aims and values. Membership is open to all who agree with our mission, aims and values.

We would also like to thank the MacRobert Trust for supporting the programme.

Contents 2 1 13 14 15 18 19 19 20 22 23 23 24 24 25 25 26 26 27 30 30 31 32 33 36 37 38 44 45 45 46 46 47 49 50 51 52 52 54 54 58 60 62 64

Albyn School Amman Valley School Arrochar Primary School Banff Academy Beldale High School Bishopbriggs Academy Central Foundation Girls School Chepstow Comprehensive School Clydview Academy Cove School Elie Primary School Elgin High School Grangemouth High School Gyfun y Strade Glasgow Gaelic School Grove Academy Inchmarlo Primary Inverurie Academy Islay High School Kinross High School Llantwit Major School Portlethen Academy Portee High School Putney High School Radyr Comprehensive School Roundwood Park School Queen Anne High School St Colm’s High School St Columba’s School St George’s School for Girls St Jame’s Junior School St Mary’s Grammar School St Muns Primary School St Louise’s Comprehensive College St Pius X College Studio 34 Sullivan Upper School The Gordons School Tiffin Girls School Waid Academy Watford Grammar School Woodcote High School Ysgol Brynwyn

6 Welcome

8 Endorsements

10 The Joy of Effort 12 The Legacy Begins . . . Edited by DAVID LORIMER Designed by LIAM HOWARD & DON WATSON (Career Studio) & JON GILL ( Published by THE CAREER STUDIO Printed in the UK by THE MAGAZINE PRINTING COMPANY The Inspire-Aspire Values Poster Awards is a programme of Character Education Scotland Ltd registered charity number SCO40962. The views expressed in this magazine are those of the contributors and not necessarily the views of Character Education Scotland or its trustees. Picture acknowledgements: P12 Jenny Meadows Press Association, P13 Kieran Behan Press Association, Tom Daley Press Association, P15 Rebecca Adlington Press Association, P16 Usain Bolt Press Association, P18 Jessica Ennis Wikipedia Commons, P20 Victoria Penleton Wikipedia Commons, P21 Beth Tweddle Press Association, P22 Nick Vujoic Press Association, P23 Charlotte Dujardin Wikipedia Commons, P24 Andy Murray Press Association, P26 Rodger Federer Press Association, P28 Nadia Elena Wikipedia Commons, P29 Nick Beighton Press Association, P30 Elidh Child Wikipedia Commons, P31 Jan Zelezny, P32 Sarah Stevenson Press Association, P33 Hannah Miley Press Association, P34 Olympic Stadium Press Association, P36 Eric Liddell Press Association, P39 Bryshon Nellum Press Association, P40 Dame Sarah Storey Press Association, P43 Steve Brown Press Association, P44 Katie Taylor Press Association, P45 Ryan Lochte Press Association, P46 Jonnie Peacock Wikipedia Commons, P47 Nicolai Zeltinge Press Association, P48 Martine Wright Press Association, P49 Henry Wayoilke Press Association, P50 Derek Redmond Press Association, P51 Mary Peters Press Association, P60 Stephen Thomas Press Association, P61 Houssen Omar Hassan Press Association, P54 Sir Steve Redgrave Press Association, P57 Matt Stuzman Press Association, P58 Lopez Lomong Wikipedia Commons, P60 Tanni Grey-Thompson Press Association, P62 Ellie Simmonds Press Association, P63 Katherine Granger Press Association, P64 Usain Bolt Press Association. Acknowledgments: Thanks to the education team at The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games for their help and advice and thanks to the team at The Career Studio for their support and flexibility in helping to make the programme a success. Last but not least a HUGE THANK YOU to all the TEACHERS who take part. This publication is the result of your efforts. If you have a student in here, well done! This magazine has been produced for charitable purposes. Any proceeds from the sale of this publication will go towards the continued funding of the values poster programme administered by Character Education Scotland. Character Education Scotland, The Career Studio, Granary Business Centre, Coal Road, Cupar Fife KY15 5YQ Email: Tel: 01334 844900 TAKE PART in 2014 © 2013 Character Education Scotland Ltd. All rights reserved.

WelcomeDavid from the Programme Director Lorimer “Cover shoots and billboards are nice but they’re nothing without the work. I have left blood, sweat and tears on tracks all over the world” - Jessica Ennis Welcome to our third and final Inspire-Aspire Magazine, which features the reflections of young people from around the country on their Olympic and Paralympic inspirational figures, mainly about who inspired them at London 2012. A year on, this magazine can rekindle memories of the amazing inspiration we felt as the drama of the Games unfolded – both Olympics and Paralympics. It showed how the mood of the nation can be lifted as people come together in celebration. As one of the few Inspire Mark projects to continue beyond the Games, we are proud to be able to play a small part in recording and promoting the reverberating message of London 2012 – Inspire a Generation. In these pages you will find that the young people themselves will inspire you, the reader with their vision and commitment. The content of this magazine is extracted from student posters and consists of quotations chosen by the students along with their reflections on inspirational athletes. The exercise also helps them to deepen their selfknowledge and become more self-aware, as well as challenging them to define their aspirations for the future. This year, we reached over 25,000 students and had 190 schools registered - the total engaged over the three years exceeds 75,000.


We also held award ceremonies in four locations and were attended by over 800 people: Glasgow City Chambers with Katherine Grainger CBE and IOC Vice-President Sir Craig Reedie, Stormont in Belfast with 2012 Paralympic champion Michael McKillop, the YMCA in Swansea with Olympic swimmer David Davies stepping in at the last minute, and finally at Stour Space, a studio opposite the Olympic Park with Beth Tweddle MBE. We are currently making a film charting the journey of the whole project. The transformational impact of the project is expressed in some sample feedback below:

Ella Hopcroft Tiffins Girls School ‘I have learnt a lot about myself and thought deeply about my qualities. I have thought also about how to improve on some qualities that I am lacking in and to use the stories and experiences of others to help me do that. This has also helped me to maintain the qualities that I want to keep and to understand the potential and ability I have to do anything I want if I try. You only get one chance and I’ll make the most of it’.

Matthew Simmers Albyn School ‘I think the main thing I’ve learned is that determination can get you anywhere. I will try to stay determined in the future to achieve my goals’.

Renata Passaris Putney High School ‘This project helped me remember what my aims are in life and also what type of person I want to be. Sometimes I forget what I’m working towards in life and it’s always good to be reminded. When

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I was researching inspirational athletes for the first sections of the project it made me realise how many inspirational people are out there. These athletes are proof that once you set your mind to something, you can achieve anything. This is very inspirational to me and it helps keep my dreams and hopes alive and ready to be made into reality’. Jessica Ennis, quoted above, was one of the favourite choices from Team GB along with Sir Chris Hoy, Mo Farah, Tom Daley, Eleanor Simmonds, Rebecca Adlington, Beth Tweddle, Andy Murray, Victoria Pendleton, Dame Sarah Storey, Sir Ben Ainslie and Louis Smith. You will also find some less obvious choices who caught the eye of particular students. They are all exemplars of Olympic and Paralympic values such as excellence, courage and determination. Students write about the importance of focus, commitment and hard work in achieving their goals. They also select some powerful quotations about being and doing one’s best and not letting anything stand in your way: “Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: the potential for greatness lives within each of us” - Wilma Rudolph “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is try again.” - Thomas Edison “Don’t look where you fell, but where you slipped”African Proverb “Life is like photography, you need the negative to develop.” “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude” - Thomas Jefferson

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“If you don’t have confidence, you’ll always find a way not to win” - Carl Lewis We are enormously grateful for the opportunity of bringing this project to schools through the generosity of our sponsors, especially the John Templeton Foundation and the Garfield Weston Foundation, who have expressed their continued confidence in the programme through their generous support. I am also most appreciative for the support of my colleagues Ronnie and Kath Davidson, National Co-ordinators Gemma Clark and Julie Thompson, Inspired Apprentice Nicola England (also for her transcription) and our communications trainee Stephanie Powell; and a special thanks to Liam Howard and Don Watson for their design work in this magazine. Looking forward, this year we have embarked on our new programme Global Citizens in the Making, drawing inspiration from the Commonwealth Games coming to Glasgow in 2014. We have already received a Legacy 2014 brand for this project and are in the process of engaging as many Commonwealth countries as we can. In these pages you will find that students have taken a significant step towards defining and realising their goals, demonstrating how inspiration can be transformed into aspiration through planning and effort, as Jessica Ennis says below:

“I wasn’t the kind of kid who would get A’s without even trying. I had to work to get good grades, but I was very organised about it because I always wanted to do well in everything I did. I’m very competitive.”

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Endorsements Judges from the

Helping to judge this year’s competition was thought-provoking, rewarding, and a lot of fun. Reading over the very many excellent posters, I was struck by the honesty with which their creators had reflected upon their strengths, their weaknesses, and the challenges they face in life. Every entrant had selected an Olympian or a Paralympian, drawing inspiration from their achievements, and making connections to their own hopes and fears; the results were often both entertaining and deeply moving. This experience will stay with me.

Professor Katherine Hawley It was a pleasure and privilege to be asked to judge this year’s entries in the Inspire-Aspire project. It is inspirational, for us as judges, to see the positive effect that can be generated by young people exploring the values, behaviour and attitudes of those they admire in sport. Some of the entries were truly remarkable works of art and creativity. All demonstrated that effort and reflective thought had been part of their process. It was great to see the positive impact that this engagement had on the young people involved.

Dr. David Hemery CBE Former Olympic Champion, Vice-Chair of the British Olympic Association, Founder of 21st Century Legacy.

Judging the Inspire-Aspire entries was a very interesting experience. The effort put in by the children was amazing and their creativity was fantastic.

Aloun Ndombet-Assamba Jamaican High Commissioner

Department of Moral Philosophy, St Andrews University

I was delighted to be invited to join the judging panel for the Inspire-Aspire poster competition and I have to say that I found the process professionally rewarding and stimulating. The guidance provided for the judges was very clear and helped to ensure that the evaluations made were appropriate and consistent. The quality of the entries was uniformly high, which made discrimination very difficult for the judges. What was especially impressive was the maturity and insight displayed in many of the entries and particularly in those submitted by primary and lower secondary pupils. The poster competition requires entrants to tackle challenging tasks which are demanding and thought-provoking and, while entries are already received from a wide range of schools, I would hope that even more schools will see the educational benefit of encouraging their pupils to take part in such a worthwhile project.

Dr. Ivor Sutherland CBE Chairman, Gordon Cook Foundation


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The entries for this award were truly inspirational. It was a very difficult task to differentiate between the entries because of the exceptionally high standard of responses. The way the posters were presented demonstrated such creativity and the content reflected so well the values and beliefs of the entrants. So many had such thoughtprovoking stories and quotes. We should be proud of the high aspirations of such a talented group of young people. It was a privilege to have been asked to be one of the judges of this prestigious, international competition.

Val Corry Former Headteacher, Educational Consultant, and Associate Tutor, University of Glasgow.

It was an honour to participate on the judging panel in this year’s competition. The quality of entries was superb. The thought, effort and love in each poster were clearly evident. We are blessed to have young people with such strong values and aspiration in Scotland. I am inspired and heartened about our future!

Andy Lothian CEO Insights

It was a revelation and a delight to judge the impressive, inspired and often beautiful work of the finalists of the Inspire/Aspire project. The young creatives brought both analytical rigour to their choice of role models, as well as intuition and wisdom in drawing out the lessons learned. The importance of unstinting commitment, effort and hard work, courage and resilience in the face of adversity, enthusiasm, team work, compassion and kindness was then applied movingly to their aspirations for their own lives.

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This project seems ideally designed to encourage the full expression of heart, head and spirit in the young contributors’ lives and to support them going forward in a rich life of meaningful work, sound relationships and greater contribution.

Ruth Tait Author and executive coach

I was very impressed with the high standards and depth of reflection in the entries that I reviewed for this year’s Inspire-Aspire competition. They show a balance between personal goals and values and potential career aims that demonstrate maturity, compassion, imagination, enthusiasm and many other positive qualities.

Jo Davies University of Swansea

I was privileged to be a judge for this year’s Inspire-Aspire project. I was impressed with the standard of the entries and wondered whether I would have been able to turn in work of that quality when I was 11. The project showed how important sport is as an expression of culture and its potential to shape young people’s lives. My congratulations to Character Scotland for taking this initiative.

Vijay Krishnarayan Director, Commonwealth Foundation

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The Joy of Effort by David

period photographs and reprints of various programmes. Coubertin was hugely creative and prolific, leaving some 15,000 printed pages of writing. He delighted in ideas, even dedicating a special page to them in 1889, where he writes: ‘to think, imagine, invent, devise: what pleasure.’


OLYMPISM – Selected Writings Pierre de Coubertin IOC, 2000, 862 pp., no price given h/b – ISBN 92-91490660

Baron Pierre de Coubertin (1863-1937) was the founder of the modern Olympic Games and dedicated his life to the Olympic movement. He was primarily an educationalist and saw sport in general and the Olympics in particular as a way of promoting physical culture and the development of will and character. He developed this vision as a young man and spent time in England and the United States studying schools and universities and their practice of sport, as well as practising many sports himself. He was hugely influenced by Thomas Arnold and Rugby School, although he visited many of the leading public schools during a tour in the late 1880s. He also found the idea of the Olympic Games being carried out on a small scale in a Shropshire village called Much Wenlock by a Dr Brooke. He remarked on the tremendous contrast to the French educational system, which regarded physical effort as antithetical to the development of the mind, preferring what he called inertion to exertion. This volume, expertly edited by Professor Norbert Muller of the University of Mainz, is the most comprehensive book of Coubertin’s writings and is organised in four main parts: Revelation, including his search for a new education; Olympic dimensions, including historical perspectives on Olympism; philosophical and educational dimensions of Olympism; and the Olympic movement. There is a large number of original documents and letters, but also


From the beginning, Olympism was an educational movement referring to a moral attitude of the individual based on the cult of effort and what he called eurythmy (not I think related to Steiner). He even refers to Olympism as a religion, the cultivation of intense will developed through the practice of sport, but surrounded with art and thought. The official definition is: ‘Olympism is a philosophy of life, exhorting and combining in a balanced whole the qualities of body, will and mind. Blending sport with culture and education, Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy found in effort, the educational value of good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles.’ As some readers will know, this is the basis of my Olympic and Paralympic values programme, Inspire>Aspire. It is notable that the will is highlighted, and every athlete will recognise the need to develop the will as part of any training regime. This is a missing element in much of modern philosophy of education. Coubertin himself included character as a component of the human being along with body and mind, taking the view that character is not formed by the mind, but above all by the body. I think this is a somewhat one-sided view, but important nevertheless. In addition, the concept of peace and goodwill between nations is emphasised, reflected by respect and friendship as the Olympic values along with excellence - striving for human perfection through high performance. In an article in 1903, Coubertin foreshadows the idea of the Guinness Book of Records eventually developed by the McWhirter twins in the 1950s.

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The best-known motto of the Olympics – citius, altius, fortius - originates with Fr Didon in Arcueil. Symbolically, this stands for having a quick and vibrant mind, the uplifting of the individual and courage in life. Then, developing the idea of a sound mind and a sound body, the ardent mind in the trained body. The most comprehensive statement of the philosophical foundation of Olympism was a speech by Cooubertin in 1935 in which he outlined the various characteristics. This included religion, where the athlete chisels the body through exercise and honours the gods as well as his country, race and flag. Then there is the idea of Olympism as an aristocracy or elite, and even a knighthood of brothers in arms united by a common bond. Truce is also important and finally beauty - the involvement of the arts and the mind in the Games. This is most apparent in the ceremonies, which distinguish the Games from World Championships. Originally, there were competitions in various artistic disciplines, but Coubertin laid great emphasis on the symbolic and ritual aspects of the occasion. These included the Olympic oath from 1920, the flag and the procedure for handing the Games on to the next nation. We saw how movingly this worked at London 2012. The youth of all countries in the world is invited to meet again in four years. One of the Olympic letters is devoted to Theodore Roosevelt as a model of Olympism as a way of life. I have one of his book of essays entitled The Strenuous Life. As a young man, he was a weakling, lacking decisiveness and endurance. A particular incident made him resolve to toughen himself up, so he started boxing and cow-herding. At the end of a physically demanding day, he would plunge into the reading of the classics in order to strengthen his mind in a comparable fashion. The result was a man of immense physical and mental strength, the emblem of the ardent mind in a trained body. Incidentally, he was also a great

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nature lover and spent a day with Sir Edward Grey birdwatching in Hampshire, as recorded in Grey’s delightful book Fallodon Papers. A meeting held in Paris in 1894 resolved to revive the Olympic Games in 1896 in Athens. Coubertin describes the political implications of Greece wanting to retain the Olympics permanently in Athens after the resounding success of the first Games. However, he made it very clear that the Olympics were a worldwide movement and needed to move to different cities every four years. There was great support for the concept, but all sorts of political issues had to be resolved over the years, including the fallout of two world wars. The Berlin Olympics in 1936 were the last witnessed by Coubertin and they were meant to move to Tokyo in 1940. All these developments are described in great detail. Coubertin wrote five volumes of autobiography, the last of which was entitled The Unfinished Symphony. Every human being, he thought, belongs to the great orchestra of mankind: ‘most of us, it must be admitted, play a very minor role. Not everyone is able to fit in; some never succeed in finding their place. Very few are favoured by fate to the extent of being allowed to compose pieces themselves. Rarer still of those who are privileged to hear them performed during their lifetime.’ Coubertin was one of these, and his Olympic idea lives on. It is inspiring to read about the genesis and manifestation of the Olympic movement and ideal, especially for those of us who share Coubertin’s passion for education. However, he demonstrates the power of a vision carried through with persistence, which is something we can all achieve in our own way.

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Eilidh McKenna Albyn School

“Do not worry if you have built your castles in the air. They are where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” Henry David Thoreau

“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavour.” Truman Capote My inspirational person I have chosen is Niamh Meehan. She is my very dedicated horse-riding instructor and she has been teaching me since I was nine. I am now almost thirteen years old. This is her story. Niamh has been riding her whole life, which is another thing we share in common. She is an extremely well respected instructor but only a few know her true story well, that is until today. Niamh was recognised by Emma Hindle when she was only in her early twenties. She was her groom for a long time riding her horse occasionally but mostly doing all the chores that involve horses. Later Emma Hindle qualified for the Olympics but it was then the next month that she became very ill and it was left to Niamh to train the youngster for the Olympics. The time then came for Olympics and it was Niamh’s job to warm up the horse and groom him. Once he was ready she took him to the edge of the arena and jumped off. Emma was then lifted onto the horse by a crane as she was not able to get on the usual way. Emma rode the test and took the medal. I believe that Niamh should have got the medal and although I know she thinks it at heart she would never say that as she is too selfless. This is why I like her because she is just how I want to be when I grow up. Although Niamh has an amazing talent she doesn’t have the money to buy a good horse, which is the difference between her and Charlotte Dujardin. Niamh is very calm and patient about this and knows that she is good enough but knows she might not make it as she doesn’t have enough money. Horse riding is an especially expensive sport that requires a lot of talent but also extreme amounts of money. Niamh is an especially inspiring person as she shared the same interests as me and she shows that you should try really hard as you never knows you might just make it, which I think that Niamh will. As well as being talented, Niamh is very dedicated in everything she does. She helps me with my horse more than a


Jenny Meadows Olympic Runner

standard coach would and as an instructor is it just amazing to see her fast reaction, knowing what to do and of course her way with people.

William Vaughan Albyn School

“One loyal friend is worth ten thousand relatives.” “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.” I find Jenny Meadows inspiring because she has achieved so much yet she is rather humble about and says that it is about enjoying the sport rather than winning it. I find Jenny inspiring because she is just like any other person and, like us, has had some good times and bad, but she tries to improve what she is bad at and

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uses what she is good at in what she likes best. She achieves success by setting goals just out of reach and then achieves them, with a lot of practice of course. When she achieves them she simply sets another goal a bit further out of reach and this chain of success continues, a constant chain of setting goals and achieving them, setting more goals and achieving them. She has been involved in athletics for over 20 years; she joined her athletics club at the age of seven. In 2000, in Santiago, in Chile, as part of the 4x400m relay team she was crowned “World Junior Champion”. I admire the fact that she has tried so hard for what she wants.

David Brice Amman Valley School

“Try not to succeed, but to be whole.” The reason I chose Kieran Behan is because of his dedication to his cause and his unfaltering will no matter what happens. His story begins at the age of ten. He was already doing gymnastics and he practised and practised until, as sometimes happens, disaster struck. One day he was practising, and the next moment he has fallen off of a bar and sustained a head injury, leading to a brain injury and damage to his inner ear. He was confined to a wheel chair and had to relearn basic things such as moving his head. The doctors didn’t expect him to walk again let alone practise gymnastics again. But he did. After 3 years he was finally able to practice gymnastics again. He was ready for more now and won several junior gymnast awards. I believe his story is one of perseverance and striving for more than what people could ever expect from you the message: to do what you love no matter what.

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Mia Rees Amman Valley School

“If I am not for myself, who will be for me?” “And when I am for myself, what am I?” “And if not now, when?” I have never really been interested in the Olympics and therefore haven’t ever been inspired by an Olympian or Paralympian. But when I found out Trisha Zorn, who was blind from birth, has won 55 medals I was totally amazed. Seeing ordinary people doing amazing things is mind blowing enough, let alone people with difficulties. Zorn’s full name is Trisha Zorn Hudson and she is a swimmer in the Paralympic Games. She was born on the 1st June 1964 in Orange California. She has won 55 medals, 41 of which are gold (9 silver and 5 bronze), and has also held eight world records. Could you imagine being blind from birth? Never seeing what the world was like, never seeing anyone’s faces? I think Zorn must have a lot of ambition and determination to do something as brilliant as she has with her disability. I must say she has not inspired me to become an athlete, but she has inspired me to do great things. Zorn’s story shows us that you can do anything with ambition. I could start playing a new instrument, join a new club or even learn a new language. It all seems like very hard work and some people would not bother to even try. That means they might be miserable in future. Imagine all that hard work with something extra to worry about too. If I was Trisha Zorn, I would be very proud of myself. Trisha Zorn has taught me to believe in myself and to never give up, because I never know how important it could be in future.

Kieran Behan Olympic Gymnast

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Nia Davies Amman Valley School

“Nobody who gave his best regretted it.”

from the heart. No matter what, he will live his dream and be famous. I would like to be inspiring to people when I grow up but not so much in the whole UK like Tom did but maybe just a few people by making a difference! I think Tom Daley would have suffered if he hadn’t carried on diving because it’s kept him motivated. It made him determined to fight his battles.

George Halas

“It’s like wrestling a gorilla. You don’t quit when you’re tired you quit when the gorilla is tired.” Robert Strausse

“I have learned how big I can dream, but at least these dreams are reachable. I hope I have the determination to reach them. They are on a cloud and even now I am building the ladder to reach them”. Anna McLulich Albyn School

Tom Daley Olympic Diver

“I think the real reason for my improvements is because I had such a long period off just working as hard as I could on all my new dives; making sure I did lots of repetition to get them consistent.” Tom Daley I find Tom Daley inspiring because he has showed me that, no matter what, you do not give up, which in his case was his diving. Tom was 15 years old when his father died. He died of cancer at the age of forty. Tom Daley loved his father more than anything but this wasn’t going to stop Tom from diving. In fact it probably made him more determined to make his father proud! Also it shows you can achieve your dream at a young age and that you don’t have to be a certain age to make your dream come true. I admire him because not only does he have to do practising for diving he also has interviews with people and he has recently had exams to study for. I think Tom Daley has inspired a lot of people, and I’m sure it’s not just me who thinks he is a strong person


Tara Jackson Arrochar Primary School

“Never give up in what you believe.” Sulette Damons I have chosen South African hockey player Sulette Damons. I have always loved hockey since I first tried it. So my mum and dad brought me to the Olympics where we watched two matches. It was South Africa vs. USA. That was where I saw how incredible the South Africans were at hockey (even though we were cheering on USA). I don’t remember Sulette by her name but I recognised her as my favourite of the South Africans when I saw her picture! She can pass the ball at incredible speed, run like the wind and is an amazing player. She is focused, hard working and enthusiastic towards her hockey. I am also focused, hard working and enthusiastic towards my hockey. I know she must have practised and trained hard to achieve success. The South Africans are the best team in my mind. Sulette inspires me because she never gives up.

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Aylie Grant

Jake Taylor

Banff Academy

Banff Academy

“All our dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue them.” Walt Disney

“A person’s a person no matter how small.” Dr Seuss Ellie Simmonds is a Paralympic swimmer from Walsall, England. Her full name is Eleanor Simonds and her nickname is Ellie. She was born on November 1994, which means she is only 6 years older than me. She became interested in swimming at the age of five and still is. She swam for Boldmere Swimming Club, in Sutton Coldfield. At the age of thirteen, she was the youngest British Athlete at the summer 2008 Beijing Olympic Games where she won two gold medals. At the 2012 London Olympics she added another two gold medals and set a world record. Eleanor is a four time Paralympic Champion and has currently got five world records to her name. Ellie has achieved so much in her life so far and she was just recently awarded an OBE by the Queen.

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” Dr Seuss Rebecca Adlington inspires me because she is very talented and has fought hard to reach the level she is at. She has done so much for her country. She swims longdistance and I also enjoy long-distance swimming. She is a successful person and it proves if you keep on trying you can succeed. She has competed at the Olympics and in the future I would love to do so too. We both swim and she and I both are good at freestyle. She is really fast and good at long distance but I am quite slow and need to work on my technique. I want to develop my stamina and complete the Banff Bay Swim. Overall I chose Rebecca Adlington because I admire her technical ability and I am very fond of her. I hope to meet her in the future.

I have learned so much about Ellie, the Olympic and the Paralympics. Before- I never knew much about the Paralympics and I have discovered so many inspiring athletes who have disabilities and have accomplished their goals. This is why I have chosen Ellie as my inspirational figure. I have learned a valuable lesson that no matter what you do in life and no matter how big the obstacle, you will manage to overcome it if you try hard enough. I admire Ellie Simmonds being so dedicated, confident and focused. If I had a disability I probably would have hidden away and not felt that I could do the things that she has done. Ellie is a selfless person, as she gives up her time for Charity events and raises money for so many people. I recently watched her on The Great British Bake-Off for Comic Relief, and she was brilliant and funny. She is an amazing person and has some fantastic qualities, which I would like to develop. I am going to try follow her example the best I can and maybe I can achieve some of my own goals.

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Rebecca Adlington Olympic Swimmer

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Paulina Kotlarz

Matthew McKay

Banff Academy

Banff Academy

The person I chose for who inspired me is Amy Hannus. Amy is a boxer who has multiple titles. She has been boxing for eleven years, and is also a coach at Evanston Boxing Club, in Evanston, Illinois. She is from Chicago and currently lives in Wilmette. She has one son. She is a really successful woman boxer and an inspiration to all women at Evanston boxing club. She champions women’s strengths, and has made dozens of women believe that they can achieve their goals if they put enough effort in. Amy Hannus inspires me because she didn’t care what people said about her. She tried her best and achieved her goals even when people said she wouldn’t manage to do so because she’s a woman. She trained and trained, and got to where she wanted to be – a woman champion in boxing. No matter how much people said she couldn’t do it, she always tried to prove that all it takes is your best effort, determination and believing in yourself and your ability to do anything.

“I’d rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not.” Kurt Cobain Andy Murray is an Olympic tennis player from Dunblane, Scotland. Andy was born on 15th May 1987, in Perth and was brought up in Dunblane. When he was just eight years old, he experienced massive trauma when an armed gunman opened fire in his local primary school and killed fifteen pupils and three adults. Four years later at the age of twelve. Andy won his first tournament at the orange bowl in Florida. In 2004 he won the award for BBC’s ‘Young Sport Personality of the Year’. He is also the youngest player ever to compete in the Davis Cup. Three years later he was ranked in the top ten tennis players in the world. In 2012 he made it to the finals of Wimbledon, being the first British person to do this in seventy years, but he suffered a devastating loss to Roger Federer. At the 2012 Summer Olympic Games he put it all behind him and won his first Olympic gold medal by beating Federer. And in September, he won his first Grand Slam championship. Andy Murray is inspirational to me as he never gave up to achieve his dream, no matter what the odds. I want to overcome the odds of bullying and never give up to achieve my dreams.

Jake Squires Banff Academy

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is try again.” Thomas Edison

Usain Bolt Olympic Runner


Usain Bolt was born on 21st August 1986 in a small Jamaican town of Sherwood. He has six Olympic gold medals as a sprinter. He participates in the 100m race, the 200m race and the 4x100m relay race. He inspires me because he didn’t come from a good background or a really important place or family, but he had a dream and was determined to achieve it. He also never gives up. When he is injured he will

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recover and start racing again. And he will try even harder than the last time. Instead of being tense and training too much, he likes to relax and tries to find time for his other hobbies like music and dancing. He always finds time to do them both if he’s not training. He shows that you don’t need to be really good at sport from an early age to be good at it or that you have to play it all the time. Before he started sprinting he played a lot of cricket and was considered a fast bowler. He also inspires me because he shows that the conditions don’t have to be perfect to succeed as he broke a world record with a slow reaction time, no wind pushing him forward and his shoe laces untied. Since he broke the world record in 2008, I have been playing more sports like swimming and basketball in my spare time and sometimes just as a hobby, just because he encourages me to go out there and find a sport that I’m good at, just relax and enjoy it.

never turn your back on your dreams and that you should never look back. You should live your life to the limit and live every single second because you only live once on this Earth and if you live it well enough once is enough. I now go jogging and to a circuits class once a week so I can train to become an Olympian just like Tom.

“I have learned a lot about the Olympic and Paralympic values as well as my own values”. Kalim Mcdonagh Balfron High School

Travis Beattie Banff Academy

Iona Robertson Banff Academy

“Don’t look where you fell, but where you slipped” African Proverb The athlete I have chosen for my inspirational figure is Tom Daley. He inspires me because of his commitment to diving and because he has achieved so much even though he has hardly started his career. He inspired me not just because of his brilliant skill but because of his dedication. A year before the Olympics his father died, he was strong and he did something with his life to make his father proud. This helps me because my granddad died earlier in 2012. When he was training for the Olympics and when waiting to jump from that board, he thought of his father and it inspired him to go the extra mile and give 110% every time. His performance was amazing in the 2012 Olympics and it had me sitting on the edge of my seat the whole time while divers competed for first place. Every time he came to the 10m platform, I held my breath in anticipation, I watched as he flipped, swirled and twisted through the air. He made me feel proud to be British when he won a bronze medal for his astonishing performance. He also inspired me because in 2008 he qualified for the 2008 Beijing Olympics at the age of 14 and he was in league with people almost double his age. The training to achieve this must be unbelievable. This teaches me that age is no restriction and you are never too young or old to do something amazing. As long as I am focused and determined I can do anything I set my mind to. His performance, his skill, his commitment, and his brilliance made me realise there is more to life and that you should

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“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” Eleanor Roosevelt I have chosen to write about Jessica Ennis as my Olympic athlete. She has inspired me to follow my dreams, because from a young age she has always dreamed about becoming an Olympic athlete and she has achieved that dream. She has also taught me that if you aim high you can achieve your goals with hard work. I envy her in a way too. The reason for this is because when she was young she always followed her dream no matter what people said. And that is what I want to be able to achieve. I hope that one day I will get the power to ignore the nasty things people say about me. I hope that in future I can do what she did and achieve my dream to become a famous singer for example like Olly Murs, Bruno Mars or Mat Cardle. Jessica Ennis also taught me to believe in myself and good luck will run for me. I read about her and she tells me that she was called names through her school life. She says that she stopped the bullying by staying closer to the ones she loved rather than hanging around where the bullies were likely to be. Basically she used her common sense. She understands that bullying isn’t just about being hit but being called names. She used this understanding to tell others what she was going through. At first when I was about seven when my bullying first started I didn’t really know it was bullying as I thought it was only hitting. She has inspired me to keep my head high and not let bullies get under my skin. When I first was bullied she inspired me not to bottle up all my emotions inside and to tell people you trust.

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Gabriela Kubarek Banff Academy

“Nothing is impossible. The word itself says – I’M POSSIBLE” Audrey Hepburn Aimee Mullins was born on 20th July 1976 in Allentown, Pennsylvania. She was born without fibula bones so as a result she had both legs amputated when she was only 1 year old. She holds 3 world records. In 1996 Aimee competed in the Paralympic USA team in Africa. As a child she participated in sports like soccer, swimming, biking, softball and skiing. She did that as an amputee, this is just inspiring and amazing, to achieve so much, so young and with a disability. This encourages me, and shows me that I can do anything I set my mind to. Aimee made all her dreams come true so she is also an actress and fashion model. She’s part of the L’Oreal team, which is incredible that she achieved so much; this just proves that every single person can do anything if they try. In 2012 she was chosen to be a Chef de Mission for the USA Paralympic team. Aimee Mullins inspires me as she proves that everything is possible. She never gave up in hard situations when others would just hide. She always stands high and makes all her dreams come true. She is an inspiration to many. Lots of people thought that she will never manage to succeed but she never listened to them and did her best. She not only made one dream come true but much more as she is well known and admired as an athlete, actress and model. After I heard her story I understood that you can manage everything. From now on I will always try my best and never give up. She is a true inspiration. I will now try to make my dreams and passions come true, I want to learn how to play the guitar and much more. If people laugh and don’t think that I will manage, I will just do what Aimee did: ignore them and believe in myself.

“I feel I have learned more about myself and who and want to be and what I need to do to achieve that, I have learned what I need to do to help people”. Kelly Anderson Queen Anne High School


Jessica Ennis Olympic Heptathlete

Callum Rosamond Bedale High School

“I don’t go so well uphill but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it.” Mark Cavendish The athlete that I have chosen is Mark Cavendish, a cyclist who has competed in both the Olympics and the Tour de France not to mention all the other races like the Tour of Britain and Giro d’Italia. Mark Cavendish has raced for the UK Olympic team, HTC, Team Sky and many other teams. He was born on the Isle of Man on 12th May 1985. I chose Mark Cavendish because he has inspired people to get out cycling and also for the personal fact that in his book boy racer he explains that he started riding a BMX. I think this shows that you don’t have to have all the gear to become an Olympic superstar or a Tour de France competitor. Mark Cavendish first started road cycling in 2005 after a few years track cycling. Since then he has progressed to become what is said to be the best sprinter alive. Being a cyclist myself, he has inspired me to get out rain or shine and practise. Mark Cavendish has inspired me to ride on my own without my dad who serves in the RAF

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and as a result has to go away a lot as I sometimes find riding alone daunting and lonely. Mark Cavendish now races for the famous team Omega Pharma Quickstep.

Jade Constantine

“I have learned to think about what I do and say. I now have some good and achievable goals to work towards in the future. I also enjoyed taking part in this project and learning about Olympic properties”. Clodagh Beattie Kirkcudbright Academy

Bishopbriggs Academy

“The world suffers a lot not because of the violence of bad people, but because of the silence of good people.” Napoleon In all honesty, when we were given this project to do and not being entirely ‘sporty’ person myself, I thought that this was going to be especially difficult, but I thought to myself – “Hey! I might as well give it a go!” so I got out my laptop and started searching. While searching the Internet I stumbled across an athlete labelled – ‘Greatest athlete in the world.” This athlete was Jim Thorpe. Jim Thorpe had a very sad but interesting story. He was a Native American, who was born on 28th May 1887. He studied and went to school in Straud, Oklahoma, with his twin brother, Charlie. However, a dent in his education came when his brother died of pneumonia when he was only eight years old. This hit Thorpe like a ton of bricks and this started to make him run away from school, so his father had sent him to an Indian Nations University in Lawrence. This sort of education, however, did not last. Two years after being enrolled, his mother died making Thorpe run away from school again, to work on a ranch. In 1904, after meeting up with his father again and studying at Carlisle Indian Industrial School, he met one of the greatest coaches in early American football, Glenn Scobey “Pop” Warner and with this, Thorpe’s training became one of the greatest athletes in history began. By 1912, he was ready for the Olympics. He was the only Olympian in his time to take part in 17 events. He came 4th in the high jump and 7th in the long jump. He also faced Hugo Wieslander in the newly added Decathlon, and he outmatched Wieslander. In the end, Jim Thorpe received two gold medals and two challenger prizes and, if that wasn’t enough, the king of Sweden personally praised Jim by saying, “You, Sir, are the greatest athlete in the world.” Jim Thorpe’s story inspires me to carry on doing what I have because after all he’d been through and after he lost so many things, he carried on what he loved and became something great.

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Umamah Chowdury Central Foundation Girls School

“A trophy carries dust. Memories last forever.” “The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination” Jessica Ennis is my Olympic hero because of the things that she has achieved. She is proof of how much women have advanced since a hundred years ago when the suffragettes were still campaigning for women’s vote. A hundred years ago it would not have been possible for women to participate in sports like this. Her several running achievements are what inspires not only me, but thousands of people around the world. Ennis won a gold medal in the 2012 Olympics in the heptathlon. Not only that, but her first day scores included two personal best: 12.54 seconds in the 100m hurdles and 22.83 seconds in the 200m. Her 100m hurdle time became a new British record and the fastest time ever run in a heptathlon. The list of her achievements goes on and on. However, Ennis’ achievements did not go unnoticed and she was honoured in various ways. She featured on the cover of a special Olympic edition of the Beano as Ennis the Menace; Sheffield United announced that the Bramall Lane stand at their Bramall Lane stadium would be renamed the Jessica Ennis Stand. Ennis was also selected for the “European Female Athlete of the Year”. In a public poll, Ennis came first in the “British Olympic Athlete of the Year Award” and was shortlisted for the “Female Athlete of the Year Awards”. I find Jessica Ennis inspiring because she is skilled in a little bit of everything from the hurdle and high jump to the shot putt and javelin. She excels in everything she does, she is always able to work harder and push herself further despite already achieving what most do not in a lifetime.

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Debbie Burgess Chepstow Comprehensive School

“The only thing that stands between you and your dreams is the will to try and the belief that it is actually possible.” Joel Brown Victoria Pendleton, born 24th September 1980 is a former British Olympic track cyclist. She has represented Great Britain and England in international competitions. She has won nine world titles. She was appointed MBE in the 2009 New Year Honours and CBE in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to cycling. She rode her first race, a 400m event on the grass track at Fordham when she was nine. She was spotted three years later by the assistant national track coach, Marshal Thomas. At that time she wanted to concentrate on her education at Fearnhill School in Letchworth Garden City, and later a degree in Sport and Exercise Science by Northumbria University in Newcastle upon Tyne. She won one bronze and three silver medals in the British National Track Championships in 2001, while still a student. She qualified for the 2002 Commonwealth Games team, finishing fourth in the sprint. She again came fourth in the sprint at the 2003 UCI track Cycling World Championships in Stuttgart and the 2004 UCI Track Cycling Championships in Melbourne. She ranked 2nd overall in the World Cup for the sprint in 2004, winning the World Cup event in Manchester. I think it’s inspiring how she chose her education over her dream in the beginning, and then when she finished studying, she became a famous cyclist. She also didn’t make it to the top straight away; she built her way up and eventually became who she is today. On her way to victory, no matter how hard it


was, she never gave up and she carried on, which is why I have chosen Victoria Pendleton as my role model.

Daisy Nightingale Chepstow Comprehensive School

“It is never too late to be what you might have been” George Eliot

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door” Milton Berle

“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up” Vince Lombardi Beth Tweddle was born on the 1st April 1985 in Johannesburg in South Africa but moved at 18 months due to her dad’s work. Beth is a three time Olympian competing in Victoria Pendleton the 2004 Athens, 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympic Cyclist Olympic Games, where she was awarded a bronze medal on the uneven bars. She is a triple world champion too! Beth has been involved in other things too. In March 2013 Tweddle won the 8th series of ‘Dancing on Ice’ along with Daniel Whiston who won the show for the third time. She entered her first major world event in 2001, aged 16. In my opinion, Beth Tweddle is a very inspirational person. Taking part and having a big involvement in many different recognised events, she is known for always being committed, hard working, ambitious and focused. I aspire one day to be as successful as her, not in the sport she does but the qualities she has to be successful and extraordinary.

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Frankie White Chepstow Comprehensive School Jessica Ennis competed in the 2012 London Olympics and won gold at the Heptathlon. She is the current British national record holder for the heptathlon, the indoor pentathlon, the high jump and the 100m hurdles! Jess Ennis was born in Sheffield to Vinnie Ennis and Alison Powell on 28th January 1986. She has a younger sister named Carmel. Her father was a self-employed painter and decorator originally from Jamaica and her mum was from Derbyshire and a social worker. None of her parents were ever very sporty, although her dad did do some sprinting in school, her mum, the high jump. She was introduced to athletics when her parents took her to a “Start track” event at Don Valley Stadium during her summer holidays of 1996. It was there she won her first sporting prize – a pair of trainers. That was also were she met her coach, Toni Minichiello. She took to the sport and joined the City of Sheffield Athletic Club the following year, aged eleven. In November 2000, aged fourteen, she won the Sheffield Federation for School Sports Witham Awards for the best performance by a Sheffield athlete at the National School Championships, where she won the high jump competition. She attended Kings Egbert School and she got three GSCE’s and then went on to study psychology at Sheffield University. Jess inspires me as she wasn’t born into a sporty family and she still managed to become so successful, but she did it by herself not because her family knew the right people. Despite this she still managed to be shortlisted for the “BBC Sports Personality of the year awards” and be voted “Common wealth athlete of the year” which shows that she is a role model to so many people have

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gained those awards. But also, just before the 2008 Olympics which she was due to compete in, she hurt her ankle and could not perform. Most people would have just given up but she was patient and just trained even more. She then waited four years until the next Olympics, were she won gold! I think the reason she is so successful not only because she is good at her job, but also because she shows determination and patience, two very important qualities.

Lucy Burgess Chepstow Comprehensive School

“Dream, believe, achieve” Diversity

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking” Steve Jobs

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great” Mark Twain At ten years old Kieran Behan found out that he had a tumour in his leg. After he had the painful operation to remove the tumour, surgeons told him that, due to mistakes in the operation, he would be left in a wheelchair. Kieran aspired to be a gymnast and even though the operation hit him down, he got back up and continued to train in gymnastics. Just when he thought things could not get worse he fell off the high bars and suffered a brain injury and damaged his inner ear, which then affected his balance and co-ordination skills. Sadly, Kieran was back in his wheelchair again, and had to learn how to lift his head and arms. He was told that he would never be able to walk again, never mind do gymnastics. His training stopped for three long years until Kieran decided that he wouldn’t give up on his dreams of being a gymnast, so he returned to gymnastics and gained several awards as a junior.

Beth Tweddle Olympic Gymnast

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In 2010 Kieran was recognised internationally, but six weeks before he was due to perform in the European championships he ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in one knee, and then in his other knee. He competed in the qualifying rounds of the 2010 world championships, but did not get through to the finals.

“By doing this poster, I have learned that you need to believe in yourself to be able to reach your goals”. Francesca Lidgate, George Heriot’s School

2011 was a great year for Kieran as he entered the European Championships in Berlin and the World Challenge Cup, where he won a silver and a bronze medal in the floor exercise. In 2012 he entered the London Prepares Olympic Test Event, where he qualified for the floor exercise final, finishing in fourth place behind gold medallists Daniel Purvis and Tomas Gonzales and bronze medallist Kristian Thomas. He also gained the best execution score of the finals. This just shows that when life knocks you down you have to get yourself back up again and when you do you will be rewarded. Kieran did just this and proved that whatever obstacle he was faced with he would overcome it without thinking twice, and by doing this he achieved his dreams, and more. “Doctors told me, stop thinking about your crazy dreams because you’ll never walk again and you must accept that it’s over for you” Behan said. But I just kept saying: “No, no, no – this is not the rest of my life. This is not how it’s going to play out.’”

Laura Macfarlane Clydeview Academy Nick Vujicic was born in 1982 in Melbourne, Australia. Without any medical explanation he was born without arms or legs. This disability is what propelled him to make something of his life and also to inspire other people to make something of theirs. Although physically at a disadvantage, Nick has no problems with his brain. He is just the same as everyone else, the only difference is his physical appearance. Nick began by going to a school for disabled people, although he had no mental problem with learning. Therefore he campaigned to go to a normal public school and succeeded. Nick coped well with the change, but he faced the most difficult time in his life shortly after. He became depressed and extremely lonely, due to struggling with bullying and selfesteem issues. He found it hard to watch other people do the normal things without any help, to watch the children go out and play and he began to think that he would always be an outsider, however he didn’t know the effect his story would have on people as he grew up. Eventually Nick didn’t see the purpose of life, and contemplated taking his own life. But when in his early teens his mother gave him a newspaper article about people with disabilities and all the amazing things they have achieved in their life. Something within this stirred great emotion and courage within him, which caused him to turn his life around. He began to think positively. He also found great comfort in God and the Bible, which he felt supported him through the tough times. Nick began to stand up for himself, set targets and goals, he wanted to make something of the life he had been given. Nick has a very magnetic charismatic personality which seems to make people like him. So at the age of nineteen he decided to use this power to his advantage, to inspire others and to spread the world of God through inspirational speaking.

Nick Vujicic


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Beth Whitby

Alexandra Adamson

Cove School

Elie Primary School

“Cover shoots and billboards are nice but they’re nothing without the work. I have left blood, sweat and tears on tracks all over the world” Jessica Ennis The person who inspires me is Jessica Ennis as she is such a role model. She is an individual who has put years of training and effort for her chances for an opportunity at achieving her goal of Olympic gold. Which she achieved with flying colours at the 2012 home Olympics. She is an inspiration to me and to many others. She is someone I can look up to and learn from. Whilst reading her autobiography she taught me a lot of things. From a person that not many people knows to a global inspiration. Anything is possible. And she was named most inspirational sports woman of the year. It makes me want to follow in her footsteps and make a great difference. Being in sport since the age of six is incredible since she had a tough childhood. She didn’t let that interfere with her sporting dream - she was strong and now she has proved that it doesn’t matter what other people say.

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“Don’t practise until you get it right. Practise until you can’t get it wrong” “Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.” Charles F

“I think I know now more about what I am good at and not so good at. I also now know exactly what I want to do in life”. Stephanie Barron Kemnay Academy

Charlotte Dujardin is an amazing Olympic athlete who competes in the Olympic dressage events. She was born on the 13th July 1985 and is 27 years old. She is British and was born in Enfield. Charlotte began riding at the young age of two years. When she was three years old, she won second at her first pony club show jumping competition. Before Charlotte was sixteen, she had won the Horse of the Year Show four times. Amazingly she was also a winner at Hickstead three times. I find Charlotte so inspiring because she was once just a normal girl who used to go to pony club and adored horses, like me, then she became an excellent athlete. She also inspired me because she won two gold medals in the Olympics and set records. Charlotte also inspired me when she beat her coach, Carl Hester. I admire Charlotte because she has been riding all her life and she doesn’t give up. She also tried her hardest in everything, which is why she wins golds. Charlotte is committed to what she has to do and determined because she never gives up. She is also hard-working and focused because when she enters a competition, she usually wins. I think Charlotte achieved success by training for years and being devoted to riding.

Charlotte Dujardin

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Ciaron Barron

Amber Fraser

Elgin High School

Grangemouth High School

The inspirational Olympian that I have chosen to write about is the medal winning tennis player Andy Murray. He is only twenty-five years old but in his tennis career he has achieved two medals in the Olympics and a grand slam which he is proud about. Andy Murray took part in the Summer 2012 Olympics in London, where he won a gold medal in the men’s singles and a silver medal in the mixed doubles with partner Laura Robson. It was a great accomplishment for him winning the gold medal as he beat Roger Federer in the final, but a month before he lost to him in the final at Wimbledon. Soon after his win in the Olympics he won the US Open, which meant that he was the only British player ever to win in the Olympics and a grandslam back to back. He is ranked number three in the world and number one in Britain so that makes him the most successful British player ever to take up the sport. For years Andy Murray has been runner up to many grand slams but finally this year he won one. Andy Murray is the child of Will and Judy, he also has a younger brother Jamie who plays tennis with Andy sometimes. His Dad was a professional footballer and Andy was showing signs of having potential to make it big like his Dad. He refused to focus on football but instead he started tennis at the age of eleven, and when he was twelve he won his first junior competition. At the age of fifteen he was asked to train for Rangers but turned it down to go to tennis school in Barcelona. This was a big sacrifice for him as he was away from his family, but he was trained by the doubles champion at the time. Andy is a determined person, which helped him through his career as when he wasn’t winning he continued to train hard and focus. I find him inspiring because I play tennis myself and it isn’t easy but he has kept with it all his life and has made many sacrifices.

Amy Conroy was born in Norwich on the 22nd October 1992. She still lives in Norwich. She plays wheelchair basketball and competed for Great Britain in the 2012 Olympics. Amy became hooked on Wheelchair Basketball after watching a professional match when she fell in love with the speed, competitiveness and aggression of the game. I would like to be as determined as Amy is. She never gives up. She always pushes herself to the max. She has tried so hard to get where she is but she has pushed herself to get here. I would like to push myself to achieve something that difficult in life. She has now been competing for just over three years and her nickname amongst her teammates is ‘Tiger’, in a bid to try and make her more aggressive on the court. Amy made her international debut at the 2012 BT Paralympics World Cup and she established her place on the team with a strong performance at the 2010 World Championships in Birmingham, helping the team to secure their highest ever final position, 6th place. At the London 2012 Games, Amy made her Paralympics debut in front of a home crowd and was Paralympics GB’s topscorer in their opening game against the Dutch, when she scored fifteen points in their 38 – 24 defeat. Amy is very determined to win in all of her games that she plays. She is very competitive. She has tried her hardest and now she is playing in the Olympics because of that. I would like to be like her because although she is in a wheelchair she manages to play that game and it is very difficult. I would like to be remembered as being very hard working like her. She will be remembered for always giving it all she could. To achieve a goal you need to push yourself to reach that goal and never give up.

Andy Murray Olympic Tennis Player


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Rebecca Jones Gyfun y Strade

“Forget the past, learn by your mistakes because it can only make you a better athlete.” Ellie Simmonds is a Paralympic athlete who is an inspiration to me. I admire the way she lives her life and how she looks after herself. She shows that no matter what you do in life and how great the obstacles may be, you will succeed in overcoming them if you work hard enough. I admire her courage and how she believes in herself and her ability to see things through and win. She tells everyone to pursue their dreams. I want to be a successful athlete like Ellie one day. She has set an example and has made me believe that I can do anything. She has kept going, has battled, has not given up and that is a huge inspiration to me.

she has today. She demonstrates that if you are willing to work hard, and put plenty of effort and time, plenty of training and preparation into something then you can go anywhere, and you can achieve excellence doing something you love. She has sacrificed a lot of things to do athletics, some important things, and she shows a commitment to athletics. Her greatest success was in the 2012 Olympic Games when she won a gold medal in the Heptathlon for Team GB. This is an incredible and outstanding success. Jessica Ennis inspires me in sport to try my best but she is also an inspiration in life. She demonstrates that if I fail in anything, I shouldn’t give up because success doesn’t come easily and if I try again and again in something, I will be closer to success.

“I have learned more about myself. I knew myself but I hadn’t thought about it that much until I had to write it down. I also have learned about the training Paralympians have to go through”. Lauren Faulkner Broughton High School

Aimee Kinzett Gyfun y Strade

“I’m proud of the way I’ve dealt with setbacks. It’s hard when you feel down and you think, ‘Why is the world doing this to me?’ But you have to pick yourself up again. That’s what makes you a better athlete.” Jessica Ennis

“I wasn’t the kind of kid who would get A’s without even trying. I had to work to get good grades, but I was very organised about it because I always wanted to do well in everything I did. I’m very competitive.” Jessica Ennis I am inspired by Jessica Ennis because she has worked hard throughout her life to achieve the career

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Heather Neill Glasgow Gaelic School

“If you put a silk dress on a goat he is still a goat” I take my inspiration from other people and recently I met one of my great idols - Katherine Grainger who with her doubles partner, Heather Stanning, won gold at the London 2012 Olympics. At the two previous Olympics Katherine won silver, which she always called “The Lucky Silvers”. I got the opportunity to meet Katherine at a rowing dinner, where she gave such a fantastic speech, which honestly inspired me to continue rowing. She was born in Scotland and became a medal girl at Strathclyde Park under my father’s eye. She and my father are still close friends. Not only is Katherine a fantastic sportswoman but she also has an Honours law degree from Edinburgh University, a master of Philosophy degree in Medical Law from Glasgow University and is studying for a PhD in Homicide at King’s College London. I doubted myself at rowing. I quit for maybe three months before I re-joined and it’s safe to say I fell behind everyone else of my age; but I then found Katherine, pushed myself so hard, sweating so much, scratching my hands raw

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and blistering my palms just to feel a little better when I met her. I wanted her to be proud. I wanted to be proud. And now, I’m top of my age group and racing with the girls older than me, and I owe it all, every last ounce of it, to Katherine. Without her I wouldn’t have found a passion in my sport and be where I am now.

“I have learned about a true sporting great. I have achieved the determination to be as inspiring as him”. Cameron Christie Portlethen Academy

Paul Traynor Glasgow Gaelic School

“It’s not crowded along the extra mile.” “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” John Wooden For my inspirational sporting figure I have chosen the tennis player Roger Federer. Roger is an extremely successful tennis player who has won many grand slam titles. Roger Federer is inspirational to me because he always looks so calm on court. He never looks angry or stressed, just completely calm. This is a major contrast to certain other professionals who shout and swear whilst doing badly. Last year, Novak Djokovic smashed his own racket up in a match against Andy Murray. It is understandable that he would be angry as he had been doing well in the rally and the shot that would have won the point landed out. I believe that it is truly amazing if you could walk away from something that could be so frustrating and appearing unfazed.

Niamh Harper Grove Academy

“When you can’t change the direction of the wind – adjust your sails” H. Jackson Brown Jnr Luke Patience started sailing when he was 7 years old. His father encouraged him to start sailing at the Royal Northern Rhu Marina. He is from a town called Rhu. He is Scottish. He sails a boat called a 470 with Stuart Bithell. They have won silver at the 2011 World Championships in Perth, Australia and silver at the 2011 European Championship in Helskinki. Finally they won a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Luke is now sailing with a new partner, Sue Glanfield. He is involved in passing on enthusiasm about sailing. He recently went back to his primary school to share his success and dreams for the future. I admire Luke because he put in the commitment and is working hard towards achieving his dream.

Solomon Trimble Inchmarlo Primary

“Arriving at one goal is the starting point for another.” John Dewey

“A good archer is now known by his arrows but by his aim.” Thomas Fuller My inspirational person is Yohan Blake, who is a Jamaican runner who competes in the 100m and the 200m races. He is the second fastest man in the world, topped only by Usain Bolt. Blake was born in 1989 in St James Jamaica. One of the only times he beat

Roger Federer Olympic Tennis Player


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Usain Bolt was at the 2011 World Championships 100m. That was probably the only memorable time. Blake is the second fastest man ever to live (tying with Tyson Gay) with a personal best of 9.69 seconds. He is coached by a man called Glen Mills and trains with Usain Bolt and Daniel Bailey. Blake is the youngest sprinter to break the ten-second barrier. Yohan Blake inspires me because he always keeps going and trying to beat Bolt every race never giving up and never seems to get angry with Bolt when he loses every time. Yohan Blake made a video about helping poor people on his personal website which I also admire him for. Yohan Blake started running at a young age and must have trained very hard to become what he is today. You must need a lot of determination to start running at the same time as Usain Bolt.

Inverurie Academy

“Don’t overlook your diamonds because you’re too bust collecting stones” Rachel Ann Nunes

“Even the tallest tower started from the ground” Chinese proverb

Andrew Mair Inverurie Academy

“The past is a guide post, not a hitching post.” L. Thomas Holdcroft

“Defeat never comes to any man unless he admits it” Josephus Daniels Lawrence Lemieux was an Olympic sailor in the 1988 Olympics in South Korea. During his race the weather turned from 15 knots to a dangerous 35 knots. Lemieux was clocking a time that would have got him a silver medal but he spotted a capsized boat. Forgetting his own race he sailed over to the Singapore team (one of which had been thrown 20m). He dragged both men aboard before finishing the race, finishing in 22nd place out of 32 boats. This sacrifice made by Lemieux is made all the greater when you consider he spent his whole life training, worked three jobs and lived in his van for 15 years. Even though he did not win the medal, he was singled out at the awards ceremony. He was awarded the Pierre de Coubertin medal for his heroic act. “By your sportsmanship, self-sacrifice and courage you embody all that is right with the Olympic ideal” said Olympic Committee President. This inspires me because he gave everything to save those men and even then he carried on. I believe if everyone was like this the world would be a much better place and because of this I strive to be like Lawrence Lemieux.

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Alastair Fyfe

When it came down to choosing an inspiring athlete, I was at first a bit stuck. After all, there are so many of them, aren’t there? ‘The Might Mobot’. The ‘Lightning Bolt’ and ‘Golden Fir;’ Jessica Ennis. But then I remembered a Primary Six project I did, on Paralympian Kevin Hayes, a man who overcame trauma and paralysis to reach to the top of his game. From an early age, Rotherhamborn Kevin Hayes loved sport of all kinds, especially football. He played for the school team, before joining the local club. However, in 1982, tragedy struck. Kevin was involved in a car accident. He broke his spine and paralysed his legs, permanently. He was admitted to the Spinal Injuries Unit in the North General Hospital. As part of his rehabilitation, Kevin was introduced to wheelchair basketball. He took to it like a fish to water, and soon joined the Sheffield Steeler, which, with Kevin Hayes and other future Paralympians, won the national league. In 1995, he was selected as part of the UK squad, and, in 1998, took part in his first international tournament. In the 2012 Paralympics, the British team came 4th, but Kevin still has bronze medals from Athens and Beijing, and a silver from the 2010 World Championships. Kevin currently coaches younger people (with injuries) in wheelchair basketball, and plays regularly for the UK. Kevin Hayes inspires me through his sheer determination and courage, and his ability to overcome physical (and mental) trauma and difficulties. I follow his lead when it comes to overcoming my asthma. I aspire to be like Kevin – never give up, and make the most of what you have, no matter your limitations.

“I have learned that I am a good person inside and out, I have achieved my goals throughout the project.”

Jo Macintosh Keith Grammar

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Dornie Burnett Inverurie Academy

“Explore. Dream. Discover.” On the 26th of July 1976, at the Montreal Olympics, 14 year-old Nadia Elena Comaneci achieved what many gymnasts and fans thought was impossible, and was awarded a score too high for the scoreboard to display. Comaneci was awarded ‘The Perfect 10’, not once but 7 times. So why was it that a 14 year-old Romanian, at her first Olympics has managed what her idols, Olga Korbut and Larissa Latynina, hadn’t? From the age of 6 Nadia first began training and always with the dream to compete in the 1976 Olympics. She was ambitious and had a purpose. Her oneway ticket into the gymnasium was to walk along the balance beam when it was raised high above the ground - she was fearless. She showed such selfdiscipline, determination and commitment, but above all she was enthusiastic and loved every second of what she was doing. And she was good at it. When you train at least 4 hours, 6 days a week it leaves little time for much else but schoolwork. Nadia gave up her dolls and took on a life many 6 year olds would not have enjoyed or even been able to cope with. Comaneci always managed to show maturity for her age and unlike many of the older competitors managed not to get distracted by the crowd or by the task set for her. When she stepped up to the bars to perform her first ever Olympic bar routine, no one could have imagined what the 14 year-old was about to display. She managed to capture the eyes of the audience and judges. As she looked towards the scoreboard to receive her score even she couldn’t have dreamt what was about to happen. Nadia returned home to Romania after the Olympics had finished with 5 medals, she has won gold on bars and beams, and bronze on floor, she also helped her team finish 2nd. Inevitably Nadia has also won the ‘Individual All around Olympic Champion’ becoming the first Romanian to do so, and youngest ever. I personally also started gymnastics around the age of 6, and continue to train. However I could not even begin to imagine what it would have felt like to compete in the London Olympics. Although I am nowhere near as good as Nadia, I can still take inspiration from her. I may not be good at the same apparatus as her, when she works beam and bars, I prefer vault. I still understand why she ‘wowed’ a nation of gymnastic lovers, this is why I picked Nadia Comaneci, rather than a great vaulters like McKayla Maroney. Nadia has managed to stand the test of time because she managed to achieve something all future gymnasts aim for. Hardly any gymnasts will achieve their dream of


Nadia Comaneci Olympic Gymnast

competing at the Olympics, but she inspires us to aim for the Club Championships or larger County Competition. You may be wondering why I haven’t told you Nadia’s D.O.B or how many siblings she has or what her parents were called? This is because none of that matters when you are talking about the inspiration she became after becoming the ‘Olympic Individual All Around Champion’ in 1976 and achieving the first ever ‘perfect 10’. One question you might want to ask is how many future gymnasts did Nadia inspire? I don’t know the exact number, but it is at least one, because she inspired me.

Rachel Urquhart Inverurie Academy

“You’re only as good as your last result” Kristin Armstrong Kristin Armstrong, a world-class cyclist, was born 11th August 1973 in Boise. ‘Three-time National Time Trial Champion’, ‘Two-time National Road Champion’ and ‘Olympic Gold Medallist’ are some of the many titles she has managed to claim in her career but her stamina and competitive streak came around long before she became a gold medal athlete. By the time she was 17, she was a brilliant swimmer and a Junior Olympian, then, setting her sights on the triathlon, she mastered running and cycling. As well as excelling in these sports she was also a community-minded volunteer who taught swimming. In June 2001, after suffering for months with antiinflammatory and trying her best to manage with the

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pain, she called a physician. She was then diagnosed with a type of arthritis called ‘osteoarthritis’ which meant her hip-bones were starting to degenerate. This was bad news as it meant she had to give up impact sports, but like a world-class athlete, she was no quitter, so with courage and commitment she focused on recovering. Cycling was an exercise that doctors recommended so Armstrong soon joined a local cycling group and discovered that she loved it. A new dream was born. She hired a coach in 2003 and the results of hard work and training lead to her racking up some major race wins. In 2008 alone Armstrong won 17 races. When she arrived at the Olympic Games in China she was nervous for the 146 mile race that stood before her but knew she couldn’t give up. The nerves were a distant memory when she won gold. That race was her defining moment; it was everything she had worked for since osteoarthritis changed her life. She then went on to win gold for the exact same race at last year’s Olympics in London. I think Kristin Armstrong is a true inspiration. She shows that when something bad happens to you, you can’t let it get in the way of what you want to achieve. You just have to work with it and sometimes it can work out for the better. Part of the reason why I chose Kristin as my inspirational figure is that when I was very young I was diagnosed with a type of arthritis and am still living with it now. This is also why I admire her because, although I’m sure her arthritis is much worse, I can relate to what she went through when she was first diagnosed and her going to win gold medals at the Olympics is amazing considering how much pain she went through before. Kristin has achieved success by finding a way to work with her arthritis and be the very best she can be by not giving up. She has used hard work, commitment, self-discipline, positivity, patience and most importantly ambition to get to where she is today and that is why I find her so inspiring. Coping with my arthritis, especially when I was younger, was hard, but like Kristin I have learned how to work with it and not let it affect who I am or what I do.

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Ellie Forbes Inverurie Academy

“When I was five years old my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I wrote down “happy”. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment and I told them they didn’t understand life” John Lennon When we are young we have so many dreams and ambitions. These dreams define us. From when Nick Beighton was small he wanted to be in the army. He grew up and followed n tio this dream. ia oc ss © Press A In 2009, while in Afghanistan he stepped on a IED and from there his dream was shattered. Nick Beighton After 20 Paralympic Rower hours in theatre he had lost both legs. So he was left with two options. He could give up on everything or he could find a new dream, a new passion. After months of rehab with many different people at Heally Court, he decided to work not on what he couldn’t, but what he could. Nick Beighton is such an inspiration to me because when he was faced with so much, he didn’t give up on having dreams. He has gone on to become a Paralympian in rowing. In 2012 in London, unfortunately he didn’t win gold but to me he’s done so much more. He has made me look at things differently and look for positives when life begins to crumble.

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Eilidh MacDonald

Evelyn Morgan

Islay High School

Kinross High School

“Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value” Albert Einstein

“The only thing that hurts harder than failure is not trying” Apoorve Dubey

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” Friedrich Nietzsche Helen Glover MBE is a British professional, Olympic Gold medal-winning rower and a part of the Great Britain rowing team. She and her partner Heather Stanning won the first British Gold Medal at the London 2012 and it was also the first even British gold medal for women’s rowing. Helen was born in Truro, Cornwall on the 17th June 1986. Her parents are Rachel and Kimmy Glover. Having an older brother Benjamin, a younger twin brother Nathan and younger sisters Ruth and Freya, her family are competitive and athletic. I think Helen Glover is inspiring because of her perseverance, with all the training she must be very self-disciplined. She worked her very hardest to make Britain proud of her which means she is really committed and determined to do well. She makes me so inspired to go out and try doing my best in everything!


“Never, never, never, ever give up!” Winston Churchill Jade Jones is a nineteen year-old Welsh taekwondo athlete who competed in the London 2012 Olympics, winning gold in the woman’s 57kg category. “The Headhunter” as Jade is nicknamed, began taekwondo aged eight and has never looked back since. Her continuous effort towards taekwondo and school are one of many things I admire about Jade Jones. I admire Jade’s determination to do well as well as her skill in reaching the Olympics at such an early age. These are characteristics of Jade that I truly admire and wish to follow. Another thing I admire about Jade is that she is modest about her extraordinary success and really only wants her family and friends to be proud of her. Jade’s immense success was, I think achieve through sheer determination and hard work to ‘be the very best’. I also think that the support Jade received, not only from her friends and family but from the British nation was of great help in making sure she made her dream of becoming ‘the best’ a reality! Miss Jones is therefore a teenager who inspires me and she should inspire others as well to reach their dreams!

Rosie Cormack Kinross High School Eilidh Child was born on 20th February 1987, in Perth. Encouragingly she has been part of Team GB, the Commonwealth Games and Championships such as the under twenty-three European. Like me, Eilidh went to Kinross High School, and is a member of the Pitreavie Athletics Club. I chose Eilidh Child as my inspirational sports person as out of all the people I researched, Eilidh was Eilidh Child one whom I recognised but didn’t Olympic Hurdles know a lot about. When I delved deeper to learn more about her I thought she was definitely the right person to choose; I found she was very inspirational as she came from the town in which I live and love. It is great to know that she made it and proved that no matter how small or big a place you come from, no matter what life is like

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behind the scenes, you can achieve whatever you want. Another reason would have to be that before she was in Team GB and fully recognised as a professional athlete she was part time P.E. teacher. To pursue her life long dream of becoming a part of Team GB she left her job and began training hard. Clearly her dream came true! Doing this proved to me that she has a lot of determination. I think it must have taken a lot of courage to practically drop everything and start training, even more than that, to have done so well! I would love to be someone like Eilidh Child. However that doesn’t mean I have to become an athlete. To me, what she has achieved is incredible and to achieve anything at that high standard is something to be proud of. No matter where you come from, whatever part of the world, no matter what you do, what you look like, you can achieve absolutely anything you set your heart on.

Richard Dangerfield

Jan Zeleznly

Llantwit Major School

Olympiic Javelin Thrower

The Olympian I have chosen as my inspirational character is javelin thrower Jan Zelezny for many reasons, the first of which is his success. I compete in the same event as Zelezny did and often try to use his success as inspiration to do well and make improvements myself. I use YouTube to learn from his technical excellence and use the videos of his training in order to form and develop my own training, both physical and technical. Retiring in 2006, Jelezny enjoyed a long and successful career of 18 years which consisted of 3 Olympic golds, 2 World Championship golds and 2 European bronzes – a total of 12 major championship medals in all. I would say that the main reason behind Zelezny’s successes is his dedication for and persistence with the event. In retiring at the age of 40, he embodies these values; to compete so successfully for so long requires a great amount of focus and even adversity. With the top 5 furthest throws in the history of the event to his name – the furthest being his world record of 98.48m – it was always expected of him to perform consistently at his very peak and thus to set world records with each appearance. As a result of this, a lot of pressure was placed on Zelezny’s shoulders. However, even in the face of this adversity he remained calm and focused which eventually resulted in people’s realisation of him as a ‘living legend.’ A greater adversity which Zelezny faced in 1998 was a career-threatening shoulder injury, a devastating occurrence for a javelin thrower, especially as the world record holder. Despite this, Zelezny returned the very next season in 1999 and was back to his throwing best – a feat that certainly demonstrates the Olympic values of excellence, determination and courage.

This was not only a great spectacle for the Czech people but also a demonstration of Zelezny’s loyalty and sense of belonging to his homeland – he therefore did not allow himself to be distracted completely by his own success and so never left the ground, so to speak. After taking a year off after his retirement, Zelezny entered coaching within the Czech Republic and now coaches the women’s world record holder Babora Spotakova and last year’s would number one, Vitezlav Vesely. This to me was very inspiring as for all that Zelezny had worked for and had been given, he was prepared to detach himself from his career as a thrower to help others realise their dreams in the sport. For me, this epitomises Zelezny as a great Olympic role model: a man who showed excellence, friendship, determination, respect and courage as well as inspiring many across the world in both performance and sporting attitude.

“I have learned how to express my feelings and not say negative things all the time. I also learned how to give myself positive comments once in a while.”

Laura Halliday Mary Erskine School

At the end of his long and illustrious career, Zelezny retired at a competition at the track where he began throwing.

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Ruth May Llantwit Major School

“Train insane or remain the same” Sarah Stevenson is the most successful GB taekwondo athlete in history, which is clear from her outstanding list of achievements. Not only am I inspired by her achievements, I am even more inspired by the way she overcame many setbacks on her way to winning her third World Championship and competing at the 2012 Olympic Games. Both her parents died unexpectedly within months of each other from cancer, yet Sarah managed to balance training for the World Championships and caring for her parents. At the World Championships she won the gold medal for her parents, before they died shortly afterwards. Later, she suffered from a serious knee injury which required surgery and prevented her from training for 2012 Olympic Games but she worked hard to prepare regardless before losing in the preliminary round. All of these things are massive events for anyone to overcome yet Sarah managed to do this and has set up “Sarah Stevenson Inspires” which aims to inspire all athletes from all sports, as well as taekwondo. I admire the persistence and appreciation that Sarah shows as well as her good work ethic and determination. I think these are qualities that I could use to help me with my exams and sport. Sarah is still a member of the club that she trained at and often travels back to Doncaster from Manchester to help out which is, in my opinion, a very generous thing to do.

background but they didn’t have a lot. Andy Murray attended Dunblane Primary School massacre where gunman, Thomas Hamilton, killed seventeen children before turning the gun on himself. Andy Murray was in a classroom and still remembers the shocking moment to this day. Andy Murray discovered his love for tennis at the age of eleven and was described as a young star who showed promise from an early age by his coaches. He won BBC Young Sports Personality of the year in 2004. He has gone on to win an Olympic Gold Medal in 2012, US Open in 2012 and has been runner up in many finals including Wimbledon and the Australian Open.

“I have learned a lot more about myself and what I want to do with my life. I now know more about what I want to do in my future”.

Sarah Stevenson Olympic Taekwondo

Skye Arnott Albyn School

Murray Collie Portlethen Academy

“It’s your life; it’s not a dress rehearsal” My inspirational figure is World tennis number three and British number one, Andy Murray. He was born in Glasgow on the 15th May 1987 to Judy and Will Murray and has one brother named Jamie. He was from a middle classed


I think that Andy Murray is the most inspiring sports people in the world today as he has survived such a tragedy at an early age and used that to develop himself as a person. He didn’t have much when he was younger but despite everything he has gone through he never gives up. He inspires me to try my best and even though we compete in different sports, he has proved that if

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you keep putting in 100% in all you do you will get the results you want. I have looked up to him for years and will continue to throughout my life. His love and attitude towards sport is first-class and he will continue to inspire many people for years to come.

Imesha Alawattage Portlethen Academy

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Thomas Edison As I researched for this competition, I came across many inspiring people that have great stories to share. But one of them stood out from the rest, and I didn’t hesitate to write about her for this task. Tatyana McFadden is a Paralympic Champion born in April 21st 1980 in Petersburg, Russia. Unlike the life of glory and achievement she leads now, Tatyana didn’t have the brightest background. She was born with an underdeveloped spinal cord, which resulted in paralysis from the waist down. Being an unwanted disabled baby she was thrown into a poor orphanage that could barely afford crayons, let alone any support for Tatyana’s paralysis. Completely unfazed by this, she spent the first six years of her life walking on her hands as if they were legs. In 1994, Tatyana was finally put up for adoption. Debbie McFadden took Tatyana to Maryland, America. But just as all seemed to be getting better for her, fate came crashing down on her. Tatyana grew very sick, and the doctors said she only had a few months left of her. But thanks to the six years of walking on her hands, Tatyana was very strong. And this helped her cheat death and recover.

Mairead Smith Portree High School

“I wouldn’t say anything is impossible, I think that everything is possible as long as you put your mind to it and put the work and time into it.” Hannah Miley was born on the 8th August 1989. She is a Scottish swimmer. She trains at Garioch Amateur Swimming club in Inverurie. She has had many successes and is currently reigning champion of the European 400m Individual Medley. She holds many records and won a Gold medal at the last Commonwealth Games. Hannah is also the face of the Kelloggs free swim for kids campaign to get kids swimming, Hannah has been swimming since a young age. When she was a child she had posters of swimmers put up on her wall. She has a poster of GB swimmer on her ceiling that would often fall off. Sometimes she would wake up staring into his face! Hannah’s family influenced her a lot in swimming. Her dad, who got her into swimming, is her coach. Her family also cheer her on at the competitions. After swimming Hannah would like to help kids in swimming or coaching.

To avoid any more close calls with death, Tatyana joined various sports teams. Her brilliant strength helped her excel and she grew to love it, especially wheelchair racing. That was when her sporting career took off. Tatyana became the youngest member of the USA Track and Field team in the Athens Paralympics at the age of fifteen. Two years later she won a gold medal in World Record timing at the World Championship. She now has several gold, silver and bronze medals from various competitions and events. Tatyana McFadden has inspired me because of her tough persistence. Throughout her life she had loads of obstacles thrown at her, and although most people would give up, she stuck out to the end. She worked hard to be the person she is now, despite the hurdles she had to jump. Someday I hope to be like her, and not let anything stand in my way.

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Hannah Miley Olympic Swimmer

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Giulia Battaglia-TroPuvatnto ey High School

12 Award


The Inspire Aspire Award has been both enjoyable and useful to me and, even one year on, I still benefit from it. We all have busy lives and many commitments so we often do not stop to reflect about ourselves and the world around us. The Inspire Aspire Award allowed me to do exactly this and helped me to develop a greater understanding of myself. The first step to success and happiness is to know yourself: your limits, strengths and weaknesses. This also allows you to appreciate the things you are good at and acknowledge areas which you might need to work on. I also started to think about my future while doing this award. Although it seemed a bit daunting at first it gave me the opportunity to really think about what I wanted to do and the targets I needed to set myself to reach my goals. This ranged from exam results to university, friendships and hobbies. As my inspirational figure I chose Nadia Comaneci, a famous Romanian Olympic gymnast. There are many reasons

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209 Award Winners

why I chose her but what really struck me was that she had achieved the ‘impossible’. She was 14 when she competed in the Montreal Olympics. She scored a perfect 10.00, the highest score possible, on the uneven bars in the 1976 Olympics. This shocked the world as nobody thought it was possible and the scoreboard first showed 1.00 instead of 10. Nadia went on to win 3 Gold medals and it and showed me that with hard work and determination you can reach your goals and overcome challenges, however impossible they may seem. There is a quote by Nadia Comaneci which has made me start to confront difficulties with more maturity and courage “I don’t run away from a challenge because I am afraid. Instead, I run towards it because the only way to escape fear is to trample it beneath your feet.” So perhaps all of us should take Nadia’s advice and run towards our challenges.


Renata Passaris Putney High School

“Happy girls are the prettiest” Audrey Hepburn

“In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different” Coco Chanel

Eric Liddell

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken” – Oscar Wilde “Beauty is not in the face, beauty is the light in the heart” Kahlil Gibran

“People can do whatever they want if they just set their heart to it, and just never give up, and just go out there and do it”

Olympic Runner attacked by a 14ft tiger shark while surfing. The attack left her with a severed left arm. After losing over 60% of her blood, and making it through several surgeries without infection, Bethany was on her way to recovery with an extremely positive attitude. Miraculously, just one month after the attack, she returned to the water to continue pursuing her goals to become a professional surfer. Just one year after the attack she took 1st place in the Explorer Women’s division of the 2004 NSSA National Championships (her 1st National title). Through the platform of the professional sport, Bethany has been able to touch a large number of people with her message, charitable efforts and overall spirit. Bethany just launched her own foundation ‘Friends of Bethany’ which supports shark attack survivors and traumatic amputees. It serves to inspire others through her life story, and she is also involved in numerous other charitable efforts.

Bethany Hamilton I chose Bethany Hamilton as my inspirational athlete as she is someone who I think is an ideal role model. Bethany turned her tragedy into an inspirational message for others. Rather than letting her shark attack define her life, she was able to gather her personal strength and courage to gain a new appreciation for life. Most people would have given up after what happened to her, but not only did she make an amazing return to surfing, she excelled at it. She is someone you look at and think if she can do all the incredible things she has done, I can set the world on fire too. Her strong faith in Jesus is an inspiration to us not to let seemingly bad circumstances prevent us from us praising God. Professional surfer Bethany Hamilton has become a source of inspiration to millions through her story of faith, determination and hope. At the age of 8, she entered her first surf competition where she won both the short and long board division. This sparked her love for surfing for. At the age of thirteen, on October 31st 2003, Bethany was


Ellie Tsoukkas Putney High School

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” Harriet Tubman Eric Liddell was born on January 16th 1902, in China. His parents were both missionaries, along with the London Missionary Society. When he was five years old, their family moved to England, and when he was six, he and

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his brother started going to boarding school in England for the sons of missionaries. His sister and parents however, moved back to China. Whilst at this school the rest of his family came back and mainly lived in Edinburgh. In 1920, he and his brother went to study Science at the University of Edinburgh. Whilst there, he started to become known as the fastest runner in Scotland, and people also said that he was a potential Olympic athlete. The 1924 Summer Olympics were hosted in Paris and Eric Liddell was supposed to run in the 100m race. However, this race was held on a Sunday, and being a strongly religious Christian, he refused to run. So he decided before the games to pull out of his heat. During the time between making this decision and the actual games, Liddell trained for the 400m, but he never achieved a very fast time whilst training. Then on the day, whilst walking towards the starting blocks, an American slipped a piece of paper into his hand with a quotation from 1 Samuel 2:30: “Those who honour me I will honour.” This event was not considered a sprinting race, however, being a natural sprinter, Liddell sprinted the first 200m, and then, inspired by the quote he had been handed and the fact he was a sprinter, he sprinted the rest of the way, meaning he completed the race in first place. He finished with a time of 47.6 seconds, a new world record that remained the European record for twelve years until beaten by another British athlete Godfrey Brown. After the Games, Eric Liddell continued to compete in races, and still kept his devotion to God, by still refusing to run on Sundays.

never recover from, which is really amazing. I especially admire his attitude through it all, as although life dealt him a bad hand, he made the best of it and has achieved greatness. As well as achieving, he has made it his goal to inspire others around him, showing his compassion and kindness. He is a really exceptional person, and I don’t think many people could have done what he has done.

“I think I have learned a lot more about myself. I think that now I have completed this poster that I will achieve a lot more things in life”. Chloe Cowie Banff Academy

Rianna Man Radyr Comprehensive

“The essential thing is not knowledge, but character” Joseph le Conte

Honor Seddon Putney High School

“Doubt whom you will, but never yourself.”

“Happiness is where we find it, but rarely where we seek it” J. Petit Senn

Christian Nestell Bovee Derek Derenalagi is a Paralympic athlete who competed for Great Britain in Discus in the London 2012 Olympics. He was born in Fiji and raised by his grandmother, and joined the British Army in 1999. He lost both his legs while serving in Afghanistan five years ago, when his car was hit with an explosive. The doctors had given up on him, declared him dead, and were putting him in a body bag when one doctor found a weak pulse. After spending eight days in a coma and another two weeks in hospital, he is now a Paralympian. Although he did not win a gold medal at the 2012 Olympics, he has said that inspiring others was his main goal, and he would much rather achieve that than medals and let them know that their lives aren’t over. His story is so inspirational as it shows how even from the lowest points in your life, if you persevere and carry on going, you can still achieve your dreams. He bounced back from something that most people

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“Dream big and dare to fail” Norman Vaughan

“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm” Ralph Waldo Emerson Eleanor Simmonds is an eighteen-year-old Paralympic swimmer. She inspires me because from a very young age, she has worked hard to achieve her goals and her dream. She doesn’t let her disability prevent her from doing anything, instead rising to any challenge and proving

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people wrong. Ellie had been pushing herself throughout her life, from when she started swimming aged 5 at Boldmere Swimming Club, then moving to Swansea at the age of eleven to use the world-class swimming pool. She not only competed against able-bodied children at the age of eight and won, she was also talent spotted at a disability event, where she was entered into the British Swimming Talent Programme at the age of ten. Previously Ellie has been awarded an MBE while only being 14, the youngest person ever to do so. She won the 2008 BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year award, and was appointed an OBE in the 2013 New Years Honours for services to Paralympic sport. Ellie has won four Paralympic gold medals, one silver medal and one bronze. During the IPC World Championships in 2009 and 2012, she won ten gold medals, while also winning five gold medals in the IPC European Championships. She has broken eight world records and wishes to win medals at three more Paralympics.

“I have learned what values are important in life and what I need to improve on. It made me think about myself and my future”. Laura Halliday Mary Erskine School

I think that Ellie lives up to the Olympic and Paralympics values because she shows ambition and organisation at being able to balance school work and nine two-hour swimming sessions a week. She must be reliable and good at listening to improve and be coached so often. Many people have called her caring and cheerful, and she is also generous, as she has volunteered for charity events such as the comic relief edition of the Great British Bakeoff. The person she most admires is her coach Billy Pye, which shows that she appreciates all that he has done for her. I think she must have been confident and optimistic to enter a Paralympic event at thirteen, let alone win two gold medals. To train as much as she does, she would have to be very committed and enthusiastic to learn more. I admire Ellie’s hard working attitude and self-discipline and the fact that she has achieved her dream. I would like to succeed in being more organised yet friendly and dedicated at the same time, like Ellie. She can balance many activities at once and can still be caring enough to visit her old swimming club and take part in charity events there. I think that Ellie managed to achieve all that she has by hard work, resilience, organisation and optimism, values that I would like to live up to.


Nicole Magierek Roundwood Park School

“Trying is tiring but it is the only way to succeed” “To be a champ you have to believe in yourself when nobody else will” Sugar Ray Robinson

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new” Albert Einstein

I think Tom Daley lives up to many of the Olympic values in his everyday life and sporting career. After everything he has been through he is still focused on his diving, achieving a bronze medal at London 2012 and schoolwork, receiving straight A’s in his A – Levels. He has been organised to achieve both of these things. He is also very respectful and friendly to his friends, family, teammates and fellow competitors. He shows courage by fighting his homesickness so he Bryshon can compete and do what he loves. He has been determined to be the best after fighting numerous Olympic injuries, bullying and dealing with his Dad’s death. I find Tom Daley inspiring as he has dealt with so much in his life but has managed to stay focused, determined, strong and achieve high excellence in diving throughout. Almost everything has been thrown at Tom and yet he is one of the best at what he does in his sport! I’m 14 years old and this is the age Tom was when he first competed at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing! He was one of the youngest athletes ever to compete and he is setting a good example for me and for other teens of my age. He has shown and proves that you can do anything if you put your mind to it and work hard! I admire him for this and he is a great inspiration especially for my age group! Tom Daley has a lot of characteristics, values and ideals that I would like to live up to and use every day in my life. I would love to be as resilient and fearless as Tom and be able to take whatever life throws at me with a smile on my face! Resilience and fearlessness are what I need to work on in the courage value and I think Tom

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has lots of courage. Tom also has respect, is friendly and has achieved excellence in his life and lived his life to the fullest even though he is just nineteen years old! I found his book very interesting and inspiring and I’ve learnt a lot about him that I didn’t know. After reading his book I definitely wanted to complete this poster on him because of his values, characteristics and ideals.

Simrit Bhandal Roundwood Park School

“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will” “Believe you can and you’re half way there” “Put your heart, mind and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success” “It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light” “Be prepared for the worst, but hope for the best”

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I think Tom Daley has achieved success in life because he has truly lived up to each of the Olympic values and has lived his life to the fullest, achieving what he wants in life and not wasting his life. He has a talent and he has strived and worked hard in his talent to achieve excellence! He has set goals that in some people’s eye might not have been achievable. He has proved them wrong and everyone that doubted him to be the best in his sport and in his class work!

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Bryshon Nellum is an American Olympic Athlete who competes in 400m and relay events. In 2009, he was shot in the leg several times and left with many injuries. After taking months out from sport to recover he was told by doctors that he would probably never return to sprinting at world class standard again. Despite this, he kept pushing his training in hope that he would make it to the top again. After all of his hard work, at the London 2012 games he achieved a silver medal as part of the USA 4x100m men’s relay team. I find Bryshon extremely inspiring as even when he was experiencing hard times and even the doctors disagreed with him he kept going and had that determination in his mind not to give in. He was focused on his goal, which is one of the qualities that I am not so good at. I aspire to be more like Bryshon in that I should never give in because there always that little chance my dreams will come true, even if it is as little as 1%. His determination, commitment, excellence, optimism and hard work have got him where he is today! It just goes to show that you know your limits and don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do it because you can!

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Katie Robinson

human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us”

Roundwood Park School

“Instead of looking ahead at what you’ve still got to do, look back at what you’ve already done.” “I don’t regret the things I’ve done, I regret the things I didn’t do when I had the chance” Gabby Douglas was born on December 31st, 1995 and started gymnastics aged six. By the time she was eight, she has won the level four gymnastics title. Her first Olympics was the 2012 Summer, when she was only sixteen. She was the first American gymnast to win both an individual and team gold medal at the same Olympics. Douglas has since done many publicity acts, including an incident of racist bullying when she was younger that almost made her quit gymnastics for good. She encourages others to speak out about their problems and follow their dreams like she followed hers. A true inspiration to everyone!

Wilma Rudolph Stephanie Reid was born October, 1984, in New Zealand. Although she was born in New Zealand, she spent most of her childhood growing up in Toronto, Canada. At the age of 15, Stephanie was involved in an unfortunate boat accident, which left the surgeon with no option but to amputate her right foot. She was very lucky because if the surgery hadn’t taken place, Stephanie would not be here today. Reid has always been an enthusiastic sports woman, and before her accident her main passion was Rugby. Although she tried to get back into the sport after her accident, the referees in her league claimed that her prosthesis would injure other players. After that, Stephanie decided to focus more on her studies and stop sport.

Delphine Stringer Roundwood Park School

“We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, selfdiscipline, and effort” Dame Sarah Storey

Jesse Owens

Paralympic Cyclist/Swimmer

“Nothing is impossible. With so many people saying it couldn’t be done, all it takes is imagination” Michael Phelps

“Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the 40

She then moved on to university, studying for a degree in biochemistry. But this all stopped when Stephanie became part of the university’s track and field team. This is where she realised that she wanted to live life as a Paralympian. She went on to win a large amount of medals and competitions, mainly competing in T44 sprint events and long jump. She competed at the 2008 Olympics and won a bronze medal in the T44

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200m for Canada. But then she moved to Team GB and won a silver medal for the long jump in 2012. I find Stephanie extremely inspirational. This is because as soon as she realised her foot was gone and there was nothing she could do about it, she moved on with her life and decided that nothing was going to stand in her way. She doesn’t let anything stop her and her trust in God never dies. Her believe in herself and her belief that God made this tragedy her destiny, made her believe that God loves her even more. She showed him that even this wouldn’t stop her with pursuing her dreams.

Sarah began her Paralympics journey as a swimmer, winning two gold, three silvers and a bronze in Barcelona 1992 at only fourteen. She continued to swim for the Paralympic swimming team until 2005, when she accidently discovered her passion for cycling. Sarah got a series of ear infections in 2005, which meant she wasn’t able to swim for most of the year. She did a lot of training on the bike, and by the end of the year she had broken the world record for the Paralympic 3,000 metres individual pursuit. This is when she made the difficult decision to not return to swimming and become a full time cyclist.

Stephanie has a standard of perfection and excellence like no other. She never gives up and always strives to the best that she can be. She is a very positive, trustworthy and fearless person, these are just some of the many characteristics she possesses. Reid took a very bad situation and turned it into something that not many people would have the courage to do. I think that Reid has achieved great success because of her amazing aspirations in life. Without these, she would be very negative but because she always finds something new to focus on, she will continue to be a very inspiring female for every woman in the future. Stephanie is definitely a true Olympic athlete because of all her amazing qualities. She is a role model for me and I hope that I will always follow my dreams, despite any setbacks I may face.

In 2011 Sarah competed for one of three places in the GB squad for the women’s team pursuit at London 2012, and although she at first secured a place, she was later informed that she was being dropped from the squad. She did however compete in the GB Paralympic games, and she secured Britain’s first gold medal in the individual C5 pursuit. She later went on to gain three more golds. Sarah inspires me as she shows that you should never let a short-term setback affect your longterm goal. She had to make some difficult decisions about her sporting career, but it was worth it as the tough choices paid off. This means she is a great role model to young children. She made it clear that nothing can stop you if you have a passion for something, and that you should never give up in what you believe in!

Emily Barter Sophie Vernon Roundwood Park School

“You have to believe in yourself when no on else does that – that makes you a winner right there” Venus Williams Dame Sarah Storey is a British track and road cyclist and former swimmer. She was born on 26th October 1977 without a functioning left hand, but she never let this stop her love of sport. She is Great Britain’s most decorated Female Paralympian in history, with an impressive eleven golds, eight silvers and three bronze across six Paralympic games. This includes two different sports (swimming and cycling) and eleven different events within them (six in the pool and five on the bike). She even won some of her golds as an able bodied athlete, which is truly inspirational.

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Roundwood Park School

“You can’t put a limit on anything” Michael Phelps Greg Lougaris is inspiring because not only was he in pain, but he was also very scared and he still continued and won a gold medal! He showed enormous mental and physical strength. Greg Louganis was leading the dive springboard event as he stepped up for his 9th dive in the 1988 Seoul Olympics. As soon as he jumped he realised he was not far enough from the board. He span downwards, slamming the back of his head on the board and tumbled towards the water. People feared the worst, but he emerged from the water, dazed but conscious. He told the doctor to ‘just stitch it up’ he only had two dives left. The doctor put temporary stitches in his head. He carried on diving. And got through to the medal round he then went and had stitches to last the rest of the Games. In the end he got the gold! He said it was the hardest thing to do – get back on the board!

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Joanne Reddington Roundwood Park School Simon Munn was part of Great Britain’s wheel chair basketball team for the last five summer Paralympics. Simon Munn suffered a terrible tragedy. One evening, he decided to take a short cut home from the pub, he slipped, fell down face first on the railway track. The train driver saw him, but it was too late, the train drove straight over his legs. The driver then stopped when he could and went back to find a trail of blood, they followed the trail and found Simon. He later had to have one leg amputated. The train driver and a passer by saved his life. Although Simon isn’t as well known as some Paralympians, his story is truly incredible. After his injury, Simon got involved with sport and after watching his first game he fell in love with wheel chair basketball and took it up competitively. Simon Munn is now seen as one of the toughest players on the court. I find his story truly inspiring and think that the determination he showed was incredible considering what he went through.

way. This is why I came to pick Tom Daley. Tom Daley was just fourteen years old when he competed at the Beijing Olympics, which is my current age. I find it astoundingly incredible that someone at such a young age can achieve something so great, simply because he had drive to push himself. He has always been determined and persevered to achieve great things when he saw how much talent he had at the age of ten. He managed to push aside or deal with any negativity that may knock him down. When he was ten and getting frustrated with learning a new dive, he was told he would not get very far. But look where he is now. Did that comment knock him down or stop him? He has proved that it is possible for anyone at any age to achieve something if they really want it and are willing to put all their effort into it. Just last year in the 2012 London Olympics, Tom did fantastically to win a bronze medal. Especially after he and his family had just lost a loved one to cancer; Tom’s father Rob passed away just a few months before the Olympics began.


Elise Webber Roundwood Park School

“I believe that I have learned a lot about myself, which I otherwise wouldn’t have discovered”. Euan Campbell Stewart’s Melville College

Millie Sherwood Roundwood Park School

“There is nothing impossible to those willing to try.” Alexander the Great Tom Daley is a true inspiration, an extraordinary person. Whilst most ten year-olds prepare themselves for the huge change of entering secondary school, Tom Daley was mentally and physically preparing himself to represent Great Britain in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, also in hope of winning a medal. In 2008 he became the European diving champion and the youngest British gold medallist. Not only this but he became World Champion in the 10m platform event in 2009 in Rome. When given the task of thinking about an Olympian or Praralympian who inspired me, it took a bit more thought than I had imagined. I wanted to pick someone that was not just inspirational but had some connection to me in some


“Life is like photography, you need the negative to develop.” The Paralympian that inspires me is named Steve Brown; he is currently the captain of Great British rugby team. Although things weren’t always upbeat, in 2005 he was lying in hospital as the 2012 Olympic Games were announced he says it would have been ‘laughable’ to even suggest he would be included in those games. A month earlier he was at work and lost balance on a first floor balcony, falling 12ft to the ground below. He head whipped backwards and he remained conscious without any pain but when he went to get up his arms weren’t responding properly and his legs couldn’t move at all. Since that day Steve has been paralysed from the waist down and has become one of the most well known faces in disability sport. His amazing sporting stories are not the only inspirational thing him he wants to raise awareness for the physiological challenges disabled people face. After Steve’s accident it came apparent that he might never walk again but in spite of the x-rays he stayed optimistic, he asked his doctor whether he was going to die and the response must have been the most terrifying thing ever to hear from a highly trained doctor – I’m not sure, the doctor said. Steve inspires me because this made him cry and he recalls not even being able to lift his arm to wipe his tears away and now he is using his arms very strongly in a fast and demanding sport. After six months he could feel a tingling sensation in his hands and arms and he shortly afterwards had full use of them, although from his breastbone down he was completely paralysed. He had to learn all the things he had once taken for grant,

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David Rudisha is a Kenyan athlete who I find very inspiring. He is the most famous for competing in and winning the 800m athletics event at the London 2012 Olympic Games. He led his race from the start, and broke the world record at the finish. He lives up to the Olympic values, and is a great role model. Excellence – he has trained to be the best he can be. Respect – He respects other athletes and gives them support. Friendship – He is appreciative of his peers and shows them respect. Courage – He believed in himself, and was very optimistic. Determination – he wanted to break the world record and because he was determined he was able to. Equality – he is fair and doesn’t cheat. He makes it a level playing field.

Steve Brown Paralympic Rugby

again – how to dress himself, how to use a knife and fork and very importantly how to adapt to his car. He then began to realise that he was never going to gain back control of his legs and began to take full potential from his arms and hands. At Stoke Mandeville, there were specialist physiatrists who where there to help depressed patients but Steve took a different approach, he watched a game of wheelchair rugby. The men were aggressive and competitive – emotions Steve hadn’t felt after his accident. This sparked something inside of him that made him realise he needed to do something he enjoyed in his new state of body. He left the rehabilitation centre in 2005 and had his first wheelchair rugby training session at the end of that month at the Aspire Centre in Stanmore, Middlesex. It pushed him out of his comfort zone and as he got better he got stronger too. It helped him with his confidence. Steve began playing wheelchair rugby regularly soon after leaving Stoke Mandeville and within eighteen months was invited to join the London wheelchair rugby development squad, just missing out on being chosen to represent Britain at the Beijing Paralympics, But he was made captain of the GB team at the European Championships last year, a role he repeated at London 2012. He is also in demand as a motivational speaker.

Hugh Thomas Roundwood Park School

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“Hard days are the best because that’s when champions are made.”

I find David Rudisha inspiring because he lives up to the Olympic values and he is an example of the type of person that I would like to be. He has practised and trained to be the best in the world at what he does for a living. He has also had to work through a disadvantaged background with little or no facilities to practise running. He has had to be very resourceful to become the best in the world. I admire him because he has put a lot of effort into his profession, and as a result of this has won a gold medal at the Olympics. I also admire him because he had to go through many different competitions even to get to the Olympics, before he had even won anything. This is because he is from a country with lots of people who compete in long distance and middle distance events. After all this he put all his effort in to the Olympics. David Rudisha has many ideals, values and characteristics that I would like to live up to. He is very hard working, and he is very good at what he does. I would like to be hard working and I would also like to be very good at what I choose to do. I think these values are important to achieve success. I think that Rudisha has achieved success because he trains very hard to get better, and he is very determined to reach his desired goal. He is very focused and he treats everyone equally and gives other a chance. He is also very optimistic about his chances.

“I think this project has taught me to think a lot more about myself and how I may be perceived. I enjoyed looking at quotes and translating them to my life”.

Eilidh Reid Woodmill High School

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Sophie Vernon

the tough choices paid off. This means she is a great role model to young children. She made it clear that nothing can stop you if you have a passion for something, and that you should never give up in what you believe!

Roundwood Park School

“You have to believe in yourself when no one else does – that makes you a winner right there.” Venus Williams Dame Sarah Storey is a British track and road cyclist and former swimmer. She was born on 26th October 1977 without a functioning left hand, but she never let this stop her love of sport. She is Great Britain’s most decorated female Paralympian in history, with an impressive eleven golds, eight silvers and three bronze across six Paralympic games. This includes two different sports (swimming and cycling) and eleven different events within them (six in the pool and five on the bike). She even won some of her golds as an able bodied athlete which is truly inspirational! Sarah began her Paralympic journey as a swimmer, winning two golds, 3 silvers and a bronze in Barcelona 1992 at only 14. She continued to swim for the

“I believe that I have learned a lot about myself, which I otherwise wouldn’t have discovered”. Euan Campbell Stewart’s Melville College

Sophie Heigh Queen Anne High School

“If you don’t have confidence, you’ll always find a way not to win” Carl Lewis The inspirational Olympian I chose was Irish gymnast, Kieran Behan. Kieran Behan is an inspiration to anyone. He had to be determined, work hard, be focused, disciplined and ambitious to achieve his dream. He qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games by overcoming many challenges. He was born on the 19th April, 1989. Kieran always loved gymnastics but when he was ten it was discovered that he had a tumour on his leg. The operation to remove the tumour went wrong and left Kieran with nerve damage. Remarkably after fifteen months Kieran was back to normal. Eight months on Kieran suffered a horrific injury. While doing a gymnastics routine, Kieran fell and had severe brain damage. Doctors told him that he would never walk again and that he should give up on his dreams of becoming a hymnist. After two years of relentless physical therapy and perseverance Kieran went back to gymnastics.

Paralympic swimming team until 2005, when she accidently discovered her passion for cycling. Sarah got a series of ear infections in 2005, which meant she wasn’t able to swim for most of the year. She did a lot of training on the bike, and by the end of the year she had broken the world record for the Paralympic 3000m individual pursuit. This is when she made the difficult decision to not return to swimming and become a full time cyclist. In 2011 Sarah competed for one of three places in the GB squad for the women’s team pursuit at London 2012, and although she at first secured a place, she was later informed she was being dropped from the squad. She did however compete in the GB Paralympic Games, and she secured Britain’s first gold medal in the individual C5 pursuit. She later went on to gain three more golds. Sarah inspires me as she shows that you should never let a short-term setback affect your longterm goal. She had to make some difficult decisions about her sporting career, but it was worth it as

Katie Taylor Olympic Boxer


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At the age of 23 Kieran competed in the Olympic Games. Even though he didn’t win any medals at the Olympics he still achieved his dream. I aspire to have his mental attitude and amazing qualities. Kieran Behan is a spectacular athlete and person who has inspired me to never give up on my dreams.

Shannon Campbell St Colms High School Katie Taylor has won a gold medal in every Olympics she has competed in. Katie started at just twelve years old. Katie is successful at boxing and football. She entered the history book again when she won a fight against her counterpart from Canada. The reason I chose Katie is she has shown me that no matter how young you are you can be a champion. Even if you lose you can be a winner in your own heart. She started at just twelve. She also does football. This has shown me that my future can be as many things as I want to be as long as I work hard at them. When Katie did enter the history book she was just fifteen. She was up against Alanna Audely. Katie won three 90-second rounds. I’m proud to say she is my idol. This is just the beginning of my idol’s story. All together she has won fourteen gold medals.

Iona Miller St Columba’s High School

“Have fun, because that’s what life is all about.” Ryan Lochte Ryan Lochte started swimming at the young age of five, as his father was a swimming coach. His family moved to Florida for his father to pursue his coaching career, and Lochte enjoyed being taught by his Dad. He loved the water and trained with determination and passion. It was in the early years of high school when Lochte realised he was good enough to have a swimming career. He graduated at the University of Florida with many swim awards, including a gold medal as part of the American 4 x 200m relay team and a silver medal to Michael Phelps in the 200m individual medley at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. He went on to win medals and set records in the 2008 Olympics and shocked the world in London 2012 when he beat the World Champion Michael Phelps.

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Ryan Lochte Olympic Swimmer As a competitive swimmer, London 2012 was a huge excitement to me, especially the swimming events held in the new aquatic centre. The swimming events opened the Olympic Games. Tension was in the air. Would Michael Phelps become the most successful Olympian? Would Rebecca Adlington win gold for Britain? Would Ye Shiwen really be as fast as was thought? Ryan Lochte was also in the news. America dominated in the pool, and the world debated who was faster between the two American swimmers. Would it be Ryan or Michael? Lochte first inspired me before he even raced, with his optimism and confidence Although he was under pressure from the whole of America he still held his head high and aimed for the best. He was modest but confident in himself. I was also inspired by his dedication. His whole life has been spent training, but he was never good enough to win gold. London 2012 was his time. Lochte went on to win many gold medals and beat his rival Michael Phelps. However it was not the winning that inspired me. He performed under the intense pressure and his results showed the passion he had for swimming. I also liked to learn from his swimming techniques; the powerful turns, the quick dives, and the long, smooth arm strokes. Going up against Phelps is a hard thing to do, and I was greatly inspired by Ryan’s determination and confidence. I also liked Lochte for his love for his country, America. Many came to watch him and Phelps race, including Michelle Obama. Lochte took part in one of the best parts of 2012 and inspired many to start the sport of swimming.

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Eilidh Lawrie St George’s School for Girls

“In this life we cannot always do great things, but we can do small things with great love” Mother Teresa. The athlete I admire is Jonnie Peacock as he has great determination and is the fastest Paralympian in the world. Jonnie Peacock had meningitis when he was five, which resulted in the disease killing the tissues of his right leg. His leg had to be amputated, leaving him with just one leg and a prosthetic leg. He got himself back into sport as soon as he could and with great determination and belief in himself he got better and better. This led to him being talent spotted and properly coached until he became the athlete he is today. I admire him for always persevering like when he was six and had just recovered from the brink of death and when he kept on going and didn’t let being different get him down.

everyone else before celebrating himself. The last reason I look up to Jonnie Peacock is because he gives up a lot of his precious time to work with disabled children. He helps get them into a sport and motivates them and cheers them on. I am a great admirer of Jonnie’s achievements as are many others in this world. He has fantastic team spirit, great determination and confidence in himself. Jonnie also makes time for others as a gracious winner and is always happy. I’m sure Jonnie will go on to achieve wonderful things and many medals in the future Paralympic Games.

Lucius Hilger-Ellis St Jame’s Junior School

“We must consider not just the power of the individual players, but the tactical alignment, what line-up we will need for the game” Nicolai Zeltinger

“I have learned that with determination you can achieve your goals to win and succeed!” Courtney Roberts Bishops Blue Coat C of E High School

Another reason on why I look up to him is that he is extremely patient, improving just a tiny bit every day, despite training for hours. He also had to get used to walking and running on a prosthetic leg. The third reason I admire him is that he is so organised, knowing just how much food he has to consume, knowing equipment to pack for training and competitions and knowing where and when he has to be. I also admire Johnnie as a gracious winner who never gloats or boasts to the other contestants. He congratulates

At the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games there were many athletes that inspired me. For weeks we did athletic challenges at the allotment and I loved watching the table tennis, the swimming, the gymnastics and many other sports. But I was most inspired by the wheelchair basketball in particular the German team and their coach Nicolai Zeltinger. Wheelchair Basketball was developed by American World War II veterans as part of their rehabilitation programme, but its popularity soon spread around the world. I had never seen wheelchair basketball before but my mum and Nicolai grew up together so were childhood friends and he kindly arranged for us to come and see them play. I took my friend Edward as well. The atmosphere in the arena was electric with lots of brilliant music. But when the game started I was captivated. The teams were powerful and fast, they work so closely together and with such speed that I shouted and cheered until I was hoarse. Despite different levels of mobility the players have all overcome their disabilities to play at an amazingly competitive level. The wheelchairs are used like a tool and the players spin and use them with incredible agility. Both teams displayed amazing teamwork and brilliant coordination. It was a really fast game, the players crashed into each other but when they did they

Jonnie Peacock


Paralympic Runner

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helped the opposite team players up and demonstrated really good sportsmanship. It was a difficult game for the Germans having to face the British team and their home crowd. But they were clearly inspired by their coach who was up and down at the side of the arena supporting them all the time. It was great to watch Nicolai, as he appeared to be a great leader. He used every break to review the team performance, check on the players and work through the strategy. It paid off – the German team won in overtime. The game was tense until the last second. Unfortunately the German men’s team did not win a medal but that did not matter because the spirit of the team, ambitious, strong, confident, self-disciplined team players, who have overcome obstacles to reach their goal and the leadership of their coach truly inspired me and many others.

“Attitude determines altitude” Zig Ziglar

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit” Aristotle

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy” Martin Luther King

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin” Mother Teresa

Nicolai Zeltinger Paralympic Basketball Coach

Blathnaid Mullan-Young St Mary’s Grammar School

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“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude” Thomas Jefferson

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Michael Phelps is a retired American swimmer and the most decorated Olympian of all time, with a total of 22 medals. Phelps also holds the all-time records for Olympic Gold medals (18, double the second highest record holders, Olympic Gold medals in individual events (11), and Olympic medals in individual events for a male (13). In winning eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Games, Phelps took the record for the most first-place finishes at any single Olympic Games. Five of those victories were in individual events, tying the single Games record. In the 2012 summer Olympic in London, Phelps won four gold and two silver medals, making him the most successful athlete of the Games for the third Olympics in a row.

‘From this project, I have learned my true qualities and how to persevere to reach my goals and achieve by best. I have explored my hero and the challenges she overcame’.

Sarah Gibbs Chepstow Comprehensive School

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Aoife McGurk St Mary’s Grammar School

“Forget all the reasons it won’t work and believe all the reasons it will” “Life is short, live it. Love is rare, grab it. Anger is bad, dump it. Fear is awful, face it. Memories are sweet, cherish them” “Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs” Martine Wright

“Life has two rules #1: Never quit #2: Always remember rule number one”

Paralympic Volleyball

Phelps is the long course world record holder in the 100m butterfly, 200m butterfly and 400m individual medley as well as the former long course world record holder in the 200m freestyle and 200m individual medley. He has won a total of 71 medals in major international long-course competitions, 57 gold, 11 silver and 3 bronze spanning the Olympics, the World, and the Pan Pacific Championships. Phelps’ international titles and record record-breaking performances have earned him the World Swimmer of the Year Award seven times and American Swimmer of the Year Award nine times as well as the FINA Swimmer of the Year Award in 2012. His unprecedented Olympic success in 2008 earned Phelps Sports Illustrated magazines Sportsman of the year award. After the 2008 Summer Olympics, Phelps started the Michael Phelps Foundation, which focuses on growing the sport of swimming and promoting healthier lifestyles.

Martine Wright is an English Paralympian who competed in the sitting volleyball in the London 2012 Paralympics Martine lost her two legs on the 7th July 2005 in a train/underground bomb. After the attack she was in an induced coma for two weeks and had twelve operations to amputate her legs. Martine inspires me because even when she lost her legs, she was fortunate and stayed positive when everything seemed negative. Martine Wright really is an inspirational athlete because she believed the unbelievable. She may not have won a medal but she did win her life back.

Matthew McErlean St Mary’s Grammar School

“Winning means you’re willing to go longer, work harder, and give more than anyone else” “Winners


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chances, they take them” “When you put on that jersey, the name on the front is more important than the name on the back” At the age of twenty-one, Henry Wanyoike, who was a promising runner on the Kenyan national team, lost 95% of his sight overnight when a stroke damaged his optic nerves. He learned to become selfsufficient again and was able to return to Athletics. His willpower and desire to be a champion led him, only one year later, to qualify for the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games. Dragging his guide who was sick with malaria, he won the gold medal in the 5,000m, guided by the shouts of the crowds. He followed that performance with gold medals in the 5,000m and 10,000m at the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games. Henry is involved in numerous charity projects in Kenya and throughout the world and also runs his own organisations, the Henry Wanyoike Foundation, which raises money to provide people in Kenya with cataract operations.

“The great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do” When I first read about Tatyana McFadden, she made me so inspired because of her courage and will never to give up, no matter what the consequences are. Tatyana was born with spina bifida that left her paralysed from the waist down. She spent the first 6 years of her life in St Petersburg Orphanage. In her first international competition, she won silver and bronze. In Beijing Paralympics, she also swallowed up three silvers and a bronze. Now, Tatyana races in category T4 events, among athletes who race or throw from a seated position. For me, Tatyana is a very inspirational person and made me realise that it is a good thing to do what people say you can’t do.

Henry Wanyoike Paralympic Runner

Caoimhe Drovandi St Muns Primary School

“You’ll never achieve your dreams if they don’t become goals” Gordon Reid

Anna-Maria O’Donnell St Mary’s Grammar School

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“We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone” “Change your thoughts, and you change your world” “To wish you were someone else is to waste the person you are”

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Gordon Reid is a Scottish Wheelchair Tennis Player. He was born on the 2nd of October 1991 and grew up in Alexandria. He now lives in Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute. He began playing tennis when he was six years old. He was a good junior player before he was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis in 2004. Gordon won his first wheelchair tennis title in April 2005, six weeks after coming out of the hospital. He became Britain’s youngest National champion at the age of 15 in 2007 and the youngest British men’s number one shortly before his 18th birthday at the end of September 2008. Gordon has competed in many competitions, games and tournaments. He competed in the London Paralympics 2012 and the Beijing Paralympics 2008. He is an inspiration to me because even though he is in a wheelchair, he still pursues his dreams.

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Megan Long St Louise’s Comprehensive College Mary Peters won a gold medal in Germany at the 1972 Olympics for the pentathlon. Mary Peters is Northern Ireland’s only Olympics gold medallist. The pentathlon was made up of five different events. The 100m, hurdles, shot putt, high jump, long jump and 200m race. Mary Peters inspires me because she had been unsuccessful for the previous two Olympics and she continued to try until she was successful. She went to the Olympics in 1972 saying “I will win the gold.” She did. Mary Peters became a secretary and moved to Belfast. Her preparation for the Olympic Games was far removed from the facilities of larger countries. She used the facilities of a gym and a mentor and coach Buster McShane. What was also remarkable was that Northern Ireland’s troubles were at their height with daily bombings and shootings during her preparations. After winning the Gold Medal Mary Peters was advised that she had received a threat against her life from someone with an Irish accent who had telephoned the BBC. Despite advice from the police not to return to Belfast she ignored this and returned to Northern Ireland to be given a tumultuous welcome by the people of Belfast and Northern Ireland. Mary Peters instantly recognised that her sporting achievement could unite the people of Belfast irrespective of the religious beliefs or political beliefs. She used her own money and raised more money over a period of four years to revamp and restore a rundown athletics track owned by Queen’s University. This venue was to be renamed in her honour. This revamped facility was used to inspire others to achieve their aims and goals as well as to attract other Olympians from all over the world to travel and compete in Belfast. Again, Mary Peters saw this as improving the opportunity for tourists to come to Belfast and Northern Ireland despite the ongoing “troubles” at the time.

I loved to watch the Olympic Games when it is on. When I was eight years old, I remember sitting and watching it with my family. We made bets with each other to make it more interesting and we jumped off our seats rooting for the person we wanted to win. I find the people at the Olympics and Paralympics truly inspirational. To think they were normal people like us who set out and achieved their goals. The Paralympics shows that even people who have a disability can do anything and are equally valued. Their weaknesses are used as their strengths, and everybody should be influenced by Paralympians. They followed their dreams and believed in themselves and now they are living the dream. With hard working, determination and confidence, anyone can achieve their goals. I find many Olympians and Paralympians inspiring, but the person who stands out for me the most is Derek Redmond. He is an Olympian from the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. I first heard of him at my school assembly when they presented the video of him at the Olympics. I remember crying as it meant so much to me and I felt that I could relate to his history. Ever since then, I look up to him as my motivation. The event that occurred in the 1992 Olympics is well remembered in Olympic history. It is well remembered in Olympic history. It is well remembered because Derek Redmond showed great sportsmanship, and gets across a powerful message. During the race, Derek collapsed as he pulled his hamstring. Derek Redmond has said, “I heard a funny pop, which I thought was a noise from the crowd. It was my hamstring going and over the next two or three strides the back of my left leg was in agony. I thought I’d been shot but I then realised what happened.”

Tegan White St Louise’s Comprehensive College

“Falling in life is inevitable, staying down is optional” Carrie Johnston

Mary Peters Olympic Pentathlon


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What is so inspirational is the fact that he was in excruciating pain but was determined to finish the race even though the other Olympians had already finished. He limped on in an attempt to finish the race. His dad burst through security to get onto the track to help his son finish the race. As he hobbled to the end of the track, his dad let him go on so he could finish the race by himself. He received a standing ovation from over 65,000 people. Many people (including myself) would have given up but he carried on. He trained for years and to think that it was all over in one minute was disastrous. Derek has had many operations which hasn’t stopped him from doing anything. He has achieved so many things before that event. He broke the British record in the 400m for the first time in 1985 in a time at 44.82 seconds; he was a world silver medallist in 1987 and was a gold medallist in the 4x400m relay in 1992. Derek’s hamstring kept breaking down and he had many operations. After about nine operations the surgeon told him his hamstring wasn’t going to be able to withstand the amount of pressure he was putting on it during training and competitions. The surgeon was more or less telling him that his career was over and that he wasn’t able to compete for his country again. In one of his videos he talks about how around eighteen months after hearing the bad news, he sent his surgeon a picture of himself playing basketball for England. If we were in Derek Redmond’s position and were being told that our career was over, many of us would have given up. Imagine being told that you weren’t able to do what you love and that your dream of competing for your country was now over. You’d feel like you had been hit with a ton of bricks and nothing was worth it anymore. However Derek pursued his dream and played basketball for England. He persevered and now he is a role model for people like me. He teaches people that if you have confidence in yourself, others will believe in you and you will achieve whatever you set out to do. He makes me believe that I can do anything if I work hard, try my best, am determined and persevere and to keep strong. I hope that I can follow in his footsteps and to be the kind of person that he is.

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Orla Murray St Pius X College When it came to picking an Olympian that inspires me, after a lot of research I came to Katie Taylor. Katie Taylor born 2 June 1986 is an Irish athlete who specialises in boxing. Boxing and training with the Irish Amateur Boxing Association, she is the current Irish, European, World and Olympic Champion in the 60kg division. Regarded as the outstanding Irish athlete of her generation, she wore the flag for Ireland at the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony in London, later boxing her way to an Olympic gold medal in the lightweight division.

“I have learned that if you keep doing your favourite things you will end up winning competitions in the future”. Sophie Malcolm Wallace Prep School

Taylor was named Sportsperson of the Year at the 2012 People of the Year Awards in September 2012. Katie inspires me a lot as I see her relationship with her dad a lot like mine. Her dad inspired her into boxing and was with her all the way, training her and encouraging her through it all. Just like my dad and I, he has influenced me into Gaelic football just like he played and encouraged me and helped me to get better and better. She shows me that anything is possible if you dedicate hard work into getting where you want to be so you will eventually get there. She has inspired me to keep going and aiming at your goals. In an interview at the age of fifteen she was telling the reporters that some day she wanted to be an Olympic gold medallist and she was determined that some day she would get there if she worked for it. In 2012 she reached that goal and got to where she wanted to be.

Derek Redmond Olympic Runner

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Abigail Buckingham-Chick Studio 34

“Don’t let things happen, make things happen, be in control of your dreams” Stephen Thomas My inspiration is a Welsh Paralympian called Stephen Thomas because before he contracted meningococcal septicaemia in 1996 he used to play rugby for Wales under 18’s but unfortunately he had to have a double leg amputation below the knee. Stephen is a 26 year old and his hometown is Bridgend but he now lives in Portland, Dorset. Stephen started to play sledge hockey in 1998 and quickly made the British team but unfortunately did not qualify for the 2002 winter Paralympic Games and then took up sailing the year after. This year will be his second winter Paralympics. The following quote was taken from an interview with the Daily Mail “it came out of the blue, he recalls, they put me under a coma because I was so unwell at the time there was a likelihood I would not pull through but I did.” Stephen Thomas inspires me because he proves that anything is possible if you persevere. You can achieve anything you set out to do against all odds.

“I have learned and/or achieved what sort of person I want to be when I’m older and how I want others to treat me”. Katie Taylor Grosvenor Grammar School

Paralympic Sailing

That’s what makes you a better athlete” Jessica Ennis

“I’m just going to go out there and do my best”

Hope Gibson Sullivan Upper School

“I’m proud of the way I’ve dealt with setbacks. It’s hard when you feel down and you think, ‘why is the world doing this to me?’ But you have to pick yourself up again.


Stephen Thomas

The person who has inspired me the most in the Olympic and Paralympic Games is Jessica Ennis. Jessica is a twenty-seven year old British athlete who competes in the heptathlon. Jessica’s parents took her to an athletics event at Sheffield’s Don Valley Stadium when she was ten. She has recently jokes that her parents took her to the event because “I think my mum and dad wanted me out of the house”. It was there that she met the man who would guide her to success, her coach Toni Minichiello. Jess loved the sport immediately joined the City of Sheffield Athletic Club. When she was fourteen, she won the Sheffield Federation for School Sports Whitham Award for the best performance by a Sheffield athlete at the National Schools Championships, where she won the high jump.

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At the 2012 London Olympic Games, she won a gold medal in the heptathlon, with a British and Commonwealth record score of 6,955 points! Her time in the 100m hurdles was a new British record and the fastest time ever run in a heptathlon. I was truly inspired by Jess whenever she finished the 800m and won the heptathlon. Her outstanding performance made me realise that anyone can achieve amazing things if they put their mind to it. Jessica has also inspired me to join an athletics club – I now go to one twice a week, training in her events and hoping to follow in her footsteps! Jessica Ennis also proved to everyone that women can be just as successful as men, and that it’s not only men who can be good at sports!

competed in the 2012 Paralympic Games. He ran in the T46 category in the 1500m. That’s his basic information, now for why he is an inspirational person for me. I love athletics, so I watched all of the Paralympics, especially the athletics, so I couldn’t wait for my event, the 1500m, to come on. I watched eagerly as they lined up for the race, and that was when Houssein Omar Hassan caught my eye; he has turned up in a plain blue running vest and shorts, where as the others were wearing sponsored and designed especially for running and their countries’ colours running kits. This was because he was Djibouti’s first ever competitor at any Paralympic Games, so was there by himself. So with the whole country on his shoulders, he lined up alongside the other top athletes and the race began.

Jonathan Brattle Sullivan Upper School

“One man practising sportsmanship is far better than so preaching it” Knute Rackne

“Never give up, never give in, and when the upper hand is ours, may we have the ability to handle the win with dignity that we absorbed the loss” Doug Williams

“Persistence can change failure into extraordinary achievement” Matt Biondi Instead of doing a world famous athlete such as Usain Bolt, I have chosen a very little known athlete called Houssein Omar Hassan. You may wonder who he is though so here is all about him. He was born on 1st January 1977 and he is an athlete from Djibouti who

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Houssein Omar Hassan Paralympic Runner Normally, all the runners go out at the same speed, but he very slowly jogged out, and instantly fell many metres behind everyone. The gap started to get bigger and bigger, bet he kept going at his own pace, trying his best. Soon, the leader lapped him, and then again, and then again, but still he kept going. Soon everyone had lapped him and was finished, but he kept going, with three laps left all by himself. The crowd start to stand up and cheer him on and before long, he had 80,000 people standing cheering for him as he finished the race, seven minutes behind the nearest runner, in the slowest time run at the Paralympics. Later, he said he had an Achilles injury but wanted to keep going to make his country proud. He is my inspiration and my hero.

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Chloe Shorten The Gordon Schools

“The spirited horse, which will try to win the race of its own accord, will run even faster if encouraged.” I find most Paralympians inspirational but I find equestrian’s very inspirational. I have chosen Jo Pitt, who was born in Huntly, Aberdeenshire. Joanne is a Paralympic dressage rider, who has right-sided hemiplegic cerebral palsy, which means she has no feeling in the right side of her body and she also can’t use her fingers. I find this a brave thing to do as like any animal a horse is unpredictable and to ride one without knowing how much pressure you are applying to the right side is a very courageous thing to do. At the age of six she attended a pony camp and this was where she realised she loved horses and really wanted one. Finally at the age of eight she got her own horse. The horses she has now are the nine year-old black gelding Estralita, who stands at 16.2hh and eleven year-old Rocardero, a bay gelding who stands at an impressive 16.3hh. I find her very inspirational, although she’s not well known, she is incredible. She was chosen to be the reserve for the Olympics in Beijing 2008 and also getting a bronze medal in the dressage at the world equestrian games in Kentucky in 2010. I find Jo very inspiring as it takes a great amount of courage to get on a horse, let alone having a disability like Jo. Being a rider myself I know how horses can react to certain circumstances, I also know that most horse riders want an even amount of pressure on both sides. It changes for Jo though, she can’t feel how much pressure she is applying so the horse could take offence at this and it could result in a bad accident. In Jo’s case she is willing to take the risk and compete but it also takes quite a bit of bravery to have trust in the horse.

with admirable focus. However, she has understood, patient and appreciative of the initial negative results. She has been resilient when her goals have not been achieved and resilient when people have, said no. She has not only wished for a positive outcome but persisted so it would happen. She has also been cooperative and flexible when being told she must cover up whilst competing. She has many admirable values. Contrary to what many people tell themselves, complete equality is not even close to being achieved in this country, never mind throughout the planet. However, equality is worth fighting for and Attar has done this. She has fought for equal opportunities to her male counterparts as many others have done. She has taken us one step closer to complete global equality. I find inspiration in those who have the courage to fight for what they believe in, so naturally I find inspiration in Saudi Arabia, which was the last country to have no female competitors. Now all of the countries have women representing them in the Olympics. In Saudi Arabia, women are considered lesser to men and are rarely given the privilege even to play sports, so being able to compete in the Olympics is an amazing achievement. However, Attar still had to walk behind the men representing Saudi Arabia, so equality has not been fully achieved, but Attar who made a very courageous step towards it. Even though Attar may not have achieved victory on the track she has off of it.

Ella Hopcroft Tiffin Girls School Sarah Attar was born on the 27th August 1992. Attar is a track and field athlete who competed in the women’s 800m last year in the 2012 Summer Olympics with a time of 2:44:95. She competed in Heat 6 and came in last, finishing over 30 seconds behind the second last competitor. She represented Saudi Arabia, and this was the first time that a woman had represented Saudi Arabia. Attar has been ambitious in her dreams, and yet had achieved them


Sir Steve Redgrave Olympic Rower

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Poppy Durrett

an endurance sport, (one of the hardest types of sport, also an endurance sport is the Marathon, Long Distance races, Triathlon, Decathlon and many other sports.)

Tiffin Girls School

I find Sir Steve Redgrave inspirational because not only has he achieved so much in his life but he has helped many others as well in the form of Charity work. In 2006, he competed in the London Marathon raising a record of £1,800,000 for charity. Sir Steve Redgrave has been commemorated in many schools and he was also involved in starting a Rowing Academy in India. He has participated in many on-going Charity events such as Comic Relief, Sport Relief and Fair-trade. Britain’s third most successful Olympian has raised over £5,000,000 for charity. The money that he has raised goes to The Steve Redgrave Fund. The Steve Redgrave Fund aims to use the power of sport and sporting activity to bring about positive change in lives of disadvantaged children, young people and their communities. ‘The Steve Redgrave Fund supports community groups, small charities and schools in areas of economic or social deprivation, predominately in the UK, who utilise sport and sporting activities – especially but not exclusively rowing – to promote physical and emotional well-being, the inclusion of people having difficulties in their lives, community cohesion, and education.’ – From

“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm” Winston Churchill

“Sure, it was desperate and fraught at the end, but we never doubted we would win. It has been four years of hard work. It was close but that doesn’t matter. Second best is not good enough; its who crosses the line first” Sir Steve Redgrave

“An athlete cannot run with money in his pockets. He must run with hope in his heart and dreams in his head”

‘I have learned about courage, determination and how inspiring people lives become better’.

Connor Bayley Radyr Comprehensive School

Emil Zatopek The inspirational Olympian I have chosen is five times Olympic gold medal winner, British rower Sir Steve Redgrave. Due to his incredible achievements, Sir Steve Redgrave has a CBE, is a DL (Deputy Lieutenant), has the Thomas Keller Medal outstanding International Rowing Career, and obviously a knighthood. He was born on the 23rd March 1962. Sir Steve Redgrave was born in Buckinghamshire (and was born with dyslexia), where he grew up and was educated. In 1979 he competed in the Junior World Rowing Championships, and ever since has been continuously been achieving medals. He won five consecutive gold medals in the Olympic Games from 1984 and 2000 as well as a bronze medal. He has won three gold medals at the Commonwealth Games and nine World Rowing Championships gold medals along with two silvers and bronze. He has carried the Union Jack at several Olympics. Additionally, in 2011 he received the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award. Furthermore, he is the most successful male Rower in Olympic history. He is the only Olympian to have won gold medals at five consecutive Olympics in

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For most of Sir Steve Redgrave’s sporting career, he has sustained many injuries and several illnesses. In 1992, he was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (however he continued to train prior to the diagnosis). In September 1997, he was diagnosed with Diabetes mellitus type 1. Despite these two ailments he still persevered and continued to train up until the 2000 in Sydney, where he won his final Gold Medal. Recently, he has helped with the preparation of the London 2012 Olympics where he supported the British Rowers. I think that Sir Steven Redgrave’s story should be commemorated and he is an example of a true athlete. He embodies all of the Olympic and Paralympics values and if anyone had achieved as much as he had then they would die, not only knowing they would be remembered with the utmost respect, that they have not only achieved in life but had excelled at achieving in life, contributed to others’ lives for the better, and was exceptional at something, but they could die knowing that they their families could be proud of them and they could die satisfied with what they had done. And furthermore dying knowing all these things, means that you will always be remembered as a true Olympian, and I think that all athletes should aim to be as successful as Sir Steve Redgrave was.

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Cici Makakova Tiffin Girls School

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” Les Brown

“Get going. Move forward. Aim high. Plan a take off. Don’t just sit on the runway and hope someone will come along and push the airplane. It simply won’t happen.” “Change your attitude and gain some altitude.” Donald Trump

“Well by taking part in this poster I think I have done fine not good and not to bad either I have learnt new skills. And I would like to achieve gold”. Lauren Donnelly

without ever giving up. At the age of 30 you would think it’s to late to start a career, but she proves that really it isn’t. She would walk up, in front of thousands and talk from the heart, and besides the sport side of things her natural talent of speaking was boldly what helped her prosper. Her philosophy of life made others see a new aspect of their troubles, others like me. Her speaking and her running both collided into one big strong-minded woman. Though she isn’t well known around the world for winning gold medal and competing in Olympics with exceptional results, she has always challenged herself to the maximum. She has competed in several ultra endurance running marathons for different charities, mostly not for herself and her pride, but for others. She would go for challenges such as ‘317 km in 4 days’ without stopping. Through the torturing nights of slow pace jogging she would trip up and fall due to her drowsiness, then minutes later would wake up in the middle of the pavement, not knowing where she is. You can imagine the amount of determination, sweat and hard work that takes, not mentioning the obstacles and physical exhaustion you’ll have to go through. She has a degree in psychology and philosophy and is in fact an author and columnist. Her struggles and triumphs, thoughts and emotions were changing constantly with every step she was making in life. She has never left a goal undone and motivates people every day. She is my idol because she makes me believe that really if you secure a strong way of thinking you can make life so much easier and you always have to believe in yourself.

Inthuja Sivatha Tiffin Girls School

St Colms High

‘Be excellent!’ The simplest yet most powerful phrase one could think of. That’s what came up when I clicked on the website. That’s what made me read the whole thing. That’s what made me chose Alexandra Panayotou as my inspirational idol because when it came to choosing someone that will inspire me, in sports particularly, I had absolutely no idea. I sucked at things like this. But when I read and explored this woman, something sparked up inside me, something made me want to write all this now. I had been searching for days, someone with some kind of ‘unique’ sport that will make me go WOW. But really all I needed to find was Alexandra Panayotou, a runner, an athlete, with no disability, no big threat in her life, she was just like me but older. Yet what was it that made me chose her? Her mental strength, her indomitable capability to do anything, the fact that she could overcome anything and everything


“My goal was to inspire somebody, even if it was just one person, with my positive attitude.” Matt Stutzman

“When I got there, I just kind of tell myself that this is the one tournament in the world that you’re not shooting for yourself anymore. You’re shooting for your country, all your families and friends.” Matt Stutzman

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Born in 1992, Matt Stuzman is an American athlete who participated as an archer in the 2012 U.S. Paralympics archery team. Despite the fact he has no arms, everything that he should be able to do with his hands are done with his feet. He participates in archery by using his feet only to hold the bow. Currently, Stutzman holds the world’s record for the longest and most accurate shot in archery. He shoots the arrow with his teeth and holds the bow with his feet. Matt Stutzman has achieved a tremendous and outstanding example of Paralympic values. His disability of playing archery without arms does not stand as a barrier to achieve as one of the world’s best champions. I think that Matt Stutzman is a hero to the world of the Olympics 2012. He portrays a sense of determination to achieve even though there may be a barrier. He has strived to become one of the most successful archers in the world. He is inspiring because he does not give up. Archery is a hard sport, which is more to do with the top half of your body. He has used another method to overcome his pressure of having no arms and still aiming to participate in archery. He shows confidence, will-power, strength and courage in himself, which makes me feel really inspired. What I would like to live up to, which is inspired from Matt Stutzman, is his determination to achieve to the best of his ability and overcome the harsh obstacles to reach that single goal, just as if you were to aim the arrow into the centre of the board. I would like to find ways to overcome barriers that stop me from reaching my targets and I would like to be as determined as Matt Stutzman. I think he has achieved so much stress because of the motive of having no arms. It has pushed him so that he can become strongminded about his goal. His unfortunate disability did not stop him from doing something that he liked and he also wanted to prove to the world that even an archer without arms can be the best player.

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Simon Norris The Gordon Schools

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to carry on that counts.” Winston Churchill Born in Sheffield on the 28th January 1986, Jessica Ennis has become a successful athlete known throughout the country. In the 2012 London Olympics, she was poster girl for team GB, earning a great reputation. During those Olympics, she definitely lived up to the high expectations place upon her, winning gold in the Heptathlon. It wasn’t always this easy for her though; only 5 years ago, in 2008, her dreams of becoming an Olympic athlete seemed to be over; during a Heptathlon competition in Gotzis, Austria, she felt a stabbing pain in her right foot. Scans revealed a stress fracture in her foot. This forced her to miss out the Olympics that she’d been so looking forward to, along with the rest of the 2008 season.

Matt Stuzman Paralympic Archer

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After a 12-month lay-off after the injury, Jess Ennis returned to competition to the World Combined Events challenge in Desenzano del Garda, where she hit the ground running; winning the competition with a new personal best. After that, she went on to win a series of other competitions such as the UK championships and the 2009 World Championships in Berlin. Throughout 2010 Ennis competed in several competitions, mainly the World Indoor Championships in Doha, Qatar where she beat all three of the Beijing heptathlon medal winners. As in 2009, Jess was named British Athlete of the year and came third for the second time running in the BBC Personality of the Year Award.

“I think I know now more about what I am good at and not so good at. I also now know exactly what I want to do in life”. Marie Marsden Aboyne Academy

Rosie MacKinnon Waid Academy

“The Olympics are supposed to bring people together to peacefully blend and I’m looking forward to that and stepping on the track and wearing my colours and representing my country” Lopez Lomong Abducted at the age of six, Lopez Lomong was one of many children forced to be a child soldier during the Second Sudanese Civil War. Assumed to be dead by his family, Lomong and three others were helped

With the Olympics just around the corner, 2011 was another very busy year for Jessica. After pulling out of the European Indoor Championships due to tightness in her ankle, she came second in the World Athletic Championships in South Korea and, in the 2011 Birthday Honours, was appointed Member of the Order the British Empire. In October, she was voted “British Athlete of the Year” for the third consecutive year by the British Athletic Writers’ Association. The Olympics were here. After intense training, this was it for Jessica Ennis. At the end of the first day, she had scored a total of 4,158 points – her highest first-day total ever. Further she got PBs in the 100m hurdles, 200m and in the javelin. Her end total, 6,955 points, was a British and Commonwealth record. At the end of the year, she was appointed CBE in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to athletics, along with other titles such as “Most Inspirational Sportswoman of the Year.” I admire Jessica Ennis because even after being injured and the Olympics, she still carried on, she didn’t just give up. She is a brilliant athlete and an incredible sportswoman. She is a pure person with a great personality. She shows that if you want to do something, you can. She is dedicated and always does her best.

Lopez Lomong Olympic Runner


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to escape captivity and spent 10 years in a refugee camp. Lopez was then sent to live in the USA through Catholic Charities. Watching Michael Johnson at the 2000 Summer Olympics inspired him to be a runner. Eight years later on the 6th July 2008, Lomong qualified for the US Olympic Team. Chosen by the team captains, Lomong carried the US flag at the Olympic opening ceremony. “The honour of flag bearer as he is proud of his citizenship”. Lomong was eliminated in the semi-finals of the 1500 metres. I am inspired by Lopez Lomong as I think he is a man who could have become someone who might give up in case he was hurt by the consequences of trying his best and not succeeding. But Lomong worked really hard to achieve something he really wanted and gained a place competing in the biggest global sport event, the Olympics.

From then onwards that these two magnificent figures bumped into each other at certain events, even going on to professional sporting events. However, during all of this Dan came in contact with some information that could either make or break him. After his four years training at Loughborough he found out through a friend who worked for in disability sport that he could be eligible for the Paralympics. Very shortly after this news he went for classification and threw the target distance, meaning he got chosen to represent Paralympics GB at the 2000 games. Dan described this as being the beginning of his Paralympic career and he competed in these events from then onwards. However he still continued to compete in able-bodied Olympic vest and was the first Paralympian to compete in an able-bodied international for Britain.

“I have learned a lot more about myself and what I want to do with my life. I now know more about what I want to do in my future”.

Kyle Dillon Waid Academy

“The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave.”

Courtney Girvan Belfast Hospital School

Thomas Jefferson Born on the 4th October 1982 was a life that has become an inspiration to many and shows what can be achieved in life, despite any hurdles. This magnificent life was the one given to a fantastic individual Dan Greaves who has shown us that he has grabbed every opportunity thrown at him with both hands. Greaves was born in Leicestershire, England and later set out to be a discus thrower in able-bodied competition. From the age of thirteen Dan Greaves trained at Loughborough, putting every effort into his future at such a young age. This was a man with a great determination and with some great potential. It was at this age that he first wore a pair of lucky socks that he has worn to every competition he has participated in since and makes sure masses of care is taken when they are being washed. It were these socks that he wore whilst standing on the podium collecting his under-twenties silver medal as he watched Mo Farah run his 5000m also in the under-twenties.

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Having experienced both sides of the fence, “Discus Dan”, as he is known, is well placed to offer a perspective on where Paralympic sport stands in the general sporting scheme of things. It is because of all of these efforts and commitments that I choose to do “Discus Dan” as an inspirational character. If that was me, a knock-down like what he had would deplete all my confidence and put me off doing everything that he did. Personally, I’m not a sports-orientated person but from Greaves I realised that these efforts can be taken into academic situations and help me through desperate times. I know, and hopefully everyone else who has read about Greaves’ achievements will know that they can’t be half the person Dan was, no matter if we take away some sort of lesson from such a heart-warming man. It shows that no matter how rough things get, a positive outcome is always possible just like Dan Greaves won many Paralympic medals, all bronze, silver and gold, along with three World Championships. Dan also showed leadership when he captained the British team at the 2011 World Championships where he once again won gold in his event. From all of this research and reading I will most certainly learn from Dan Greaves, that you must put a lot of effort and determination into life to receive the best possible outcome. “Discus Dan”, someone I will always look up to.

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Marina McMillan

Mikhela Treon

Waid Academy

Watford Grammar School

When people say inspiring Olympian you think of the megastars like Usain Bolt, the fastest man alive, known for his confidence and his speed. Or Mo Farah, his amazing ability to run for miles, but to me to research an inspiring Olympian is to look past what the media say about people and actually look at their experiences and what they have been through to have come this far. In my research I came across Queen Underwood (Quanitta Underwood) and I was extremely taken by her story. An American gold Olympic boxer, she appears strong and unstoppable in the ring, never giving up and thrives at every punch, but it was her story that made her so inspiring.

When Tanni Grey-Thompson was born her older sister was two. When Sian saw Carys she called her baby ‘Tanni’, meaning ‘tiny’. Tanni was born with spina bifida. Spina bifida affects babies before they are born. This means that she found it difficult to walk. She wore braces on her legs. Then when she was seven she used a wheelchair. When Tanni went to school she found out that she enjoyed sports like archery, basketball, swimming and horse riding. However when Tanni watched the Olympics she discovered that she wanted to be an athlete. When Tanni was thirteen she tried out wheelchair racing. When she was fifteen she raced for Wales in the Junior National Wheelchair Games. She won the 100m race. At eighteen, Tanni joined the Bridgend Athletics Club. It had a grass racetrack, which was not so easy for Tanni to race on. However, in the winter she and her friends would race down the ramps in a multi-story car park.

As a child she and her sister were regularly raped by their father. The physiological scars still remain and she has suffered for many years with depression and substance abuse. When she took up boxing, she said it gave her a purpose and what is what took her to the Olympic Games. In an interview she gave a very strong statement on how she feels in boxing now. “People are trying to make connections that aren’t there. I’m strong because of my mindset”. Proving how strongly she actually feels about boozing, her past experiences are what gave her that voice and confidence that she thrived from. That is what took her to the Olympic Games, and that is why she is inspiring.

Her first Paralympics was in 1988 in South Korea. She came back with a bronze medal. It was very challenging for her since she was disabled. Tanni definitely pulled out all the stops in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. She came home with four gold medals for the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m races. She is now the most respected disabled athlete in Britain. Tanni Grey-Thompson is not just inspirational for being a great sportswomen but for having the will power and drive and not letting any of those barriers in life trip her up. People used to think that disabled athletes were disgraceful but that didn’t stop her. She fought for her rights and changed what we as a country think about Paralympics.

“Whatever you are be a good one” Abraham Lincoln

Even when she retired she still helped other people get into sports. In my opinion Paralympians like her are more inspiring because they don’t just have to overcome physical challenges but also overcome mental problems as well. To me she is the face of inspiration. Nothing has ever stopped her from doing what she believes is right. She might not be recognised by kids these days. She might not have inspired this generation. All that doesn’t matter though. She inspired me. It only takes one person to make a change. That’s why I chose her: she inspired me and I aspire to be like her.

Tanni Grey-Thompson Paralympic Wheelchair Racer


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Anya Haydon-Guppy Watford Grammar School

“The most ordinary life can be extraordinary, not because of what you are given, but because of what you are able to achieve” “Because I was both with a disability I’ve never seen it as a challenge. You get up in the morning and you get on with what you’ve got to do. If you’ve got a dream then you just follow it.” Hannah Cockroft When Hannah Cockroft was born she had two cardiac arrests, which damaged two parts of her brain. Doctors said she would never be able to walk, talk, do anything for herself and wouldn’t live past her teenage years. But Hannah is now twenty years old and has defied their predictions. Her bubbly and chatty personality completely obliterates the theory that she would never speak and she has the ability to walk small distances on her own. Hannah met Tanni Grey-Thompson’s husband at a UK athletics talent day. Just after the Beijing Paralympics. Ian asked Hannah if she wanted a go in his racing chair. Hannah quoted “I loved the experience and had never felt anything like it before. You go and you don’t stop”. At the 2010 world championships Cockroft broke four world records. At the Arriva Athletics Awards Cockroft received the Best British Paralympics performance for 2010. In the 2011 World Championships Hannah took the gold medals for both the 100m and the 200m. Her efforts earned her the 2nd Paralympics Performance Award for 2011. In the 2012 Paralympic Athletic Games Hannah Cockroft raced in front of thousands in the Olympic Stadium and in an amazing time of 18.24 seconds and then took gold for the 100m sprint.

Gabrielle Gavin

Unfortunately, Jon lost his left arm after a brutal rocket attack on Basra Air Station, Iraq, in August 2007. JonAllan left the RAF in August 2009 to focus on making it onto the full GB programme as a cyclist. He won gold and broke the world record in the C5 Kilo at his first World Championships in Montichiari, Italy. At the 2012 London Paralmypics he really made us proud by winning a silver medal in the 1km time trial C4-5 and a second silver medal in the individual pursuit C5. Jon-Allan joined the British Para-Cycling Development Programme through Battle Back, a joint scheme between the British Paralympic Association and the Ministry of Defence, which helps wounded soldiers return to an active life with the help of adventurous training and sport. Jon embraced the help he got from Battle Back and showed many Olympic and Paralympic qualities and values, including Respect, Courage and Determination. Jon-Allan Butterworth inspires me because not only has he served for his country, risking his life in both Afghanistan and Iraq; he has also competed for his country in the Summer Paralympics. He did not let the loss of his left arm hold him back, and instead used his willpower to develop other skills. Although initially, cycling wasn’t easy for JonAllan, and he suffered many injuries, he refused to give up.

“By doing this poster, I have learned that you need to believe in yourself to be able to reach your goals”. Tasia Reynolds Braes High School

It would have been so easy for Jon to admit defeat, and live normally with the care and support from his family. But he did not want to give up on his life just yet; he knew that there was still some grit left in him. JonAllan is so inspiring to me, because he showed such strength when he was physically at his weakest. JonAllan’s refusal to quit and his determination to success made him the man he is today. Jon is living proof that you can do anything if you put your mind to it. He has showed me that if I focus, nothing can stop me from accomplishing something. Jon-Allan has had so many setbacks, and his injury denied him from experiencing lots of different things, yet he still persevered. Jon demonstrates that no matter what circumstances you are in, there is always a way to live life to the full again. And it might be something completely unexpected.

Watford Grammar School Jon-Allan Butterworth, from Sutton Coldfield, joined the RAF aged only sixteen to train as a weapons technician. He then went on to serve in Afghanistan in 2005 and Iraq in 2007 as a Senior Weapons Technician.

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the youngest athlete to compete at the Paralympics in Bejing, ages thirteen. There she won two gold medals and became Britain’s youngest individual medallist. In 2012 she was again selected for the Great Britain squad, this time swimming at a home games in London. She won another two golds in London, including setting a World Record in the 400m freestyle. Unfortunately, the Olympics is only on television every four years, however, this makes me even more eager to watch it when it comes on. I love watching it and I am always astonished when people just like me go out and do amazing things, unbelievable things. Moreover, when people with a disability go out and do equally remarkable things it literally amazes me.

Ellie Simmonds Paralympian Swimmer

Sophie Vile Woodcote High School

“Enjoy the journey, enjoy every moment, and quit worrying about winning and losing.” Matt Biondi

“I have learned more about myself, my values and what kind of a person I want to be. I have found this very useful”. Amy Cross Dumbarton Academy

The athlete I have chosen as my inspirational figure is Eleanor Simmonds. Ellie began swimming at age four and entered her first competition just four years later. After watching the 2004 Paralympic Games on television, she was inspired to take swimming to a higher level and stepped up her training in order to follow her dreams of competing in the real Olympic Games. She never gave up on her dreams and in 2008, she was


Ellie has definitely lived up to the Olympic and Paralympic values. For example, she shows great excellence as she is tremendously ambitious and is always thinking about the future and what she can do to improve. She also shows respect as she shows she is open minded and that things don’t always have to go her way, also friendship as she always has a cheerful spirit she is kind, caring and loyal and extremely appreciative of the things she has in life and doesn’t go on about things that she wants. Not forgetting, she shows tons of courage as she shows that it doesn’t matter that she is different from everyone else as sometimes, being different, standing out in a crowd can be a good thing and lead to an advantage over others. She also shows determination as she never gives up, no matter how tough life gets, she will always carry on until she meets her goals. Lastly, she shows equality as she is an exceedingly approachable and selfless person - she puts others before herself and seems very kind. Ellie is inspirational for me for many reasons. One of the main reasons is because she was born with achondroplasia, or dwarfism, however, this didn’t stop her from following her dreams of being an Olympic medallist. Eleanor is extremely admirable, I think this because at the age of fourteen she was the youngest person ever to receive an MBE from the Queen, and in 2009 she won ‘BBC young sports personality of the year award’. I think Ellie has achieved her success as she doesn’t let her condition get in the way of her ambitions. For example, when she was in primary school, despite her disability, she auditioned for the role of the giant in her school play and she got the part.

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Louise O’Brien

In the 2004 Olympics in Athens she again won a silver medal, this time in the coxless pairs. Whilst this was a great achievement, it was probably also a huge disappointment for her, as she and her partner had won the World Championships the previous year and she was dreaming of Olympic Gold. She moved back to the quadruple sculls and was a favourite to win gold in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. As she got yet another silver medal Katherine wept on the podium and started considering retiring. I think I would have retired and been proud of what I had achieved but Katherine felt that there was unfinished business that she was compelled to complete.

Watford Grammar School

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” Thomas Edison The athlete I have chosen as my inspiration Olympian is Katherine Grainger. Katherine Grainger was born in Glasgow on the 12th November 1975 and never thought that one-day she could win an Olympic gold! She went to Edinburgh University to study law; in 1993 she was introduced to rowing. In rowing she was making such good progress that she was awarded the ‘Eva Bailey Trophy’ for most outstanding female in athlete in 1996 and if that was not enough she won it again in 1997. Katherine was now part of the GB rowing team and was sponsored by Siemens. Katherine’s first major rowing success was in 1997 when she won the gold medal in the coxless pairs at the World under 23 Rowing Championships. She went on to win Britain’s first ever Olympic women’s rowing medal in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, where she was the surprise winner of a silver medal in the quadruple sculls.

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“I have learned that I am a good person inside and out, I have achieved my goals throughout the project”. Eilidh Mellis Elgin High School

In 2010 she paired up with Anna Watkins. They were unbeaten in the run-up to the London 2012 Olympics and having broken the world record in the heats, won Olympic gold in the final! After the gold medal she told the public, “Winning an Olympic medal is phenomenal in itself but having three in the past, which or me were not the right colour, meant that gold became the one I wanted.” I find Katherine Grainger inspiring because even though she had won three Olympic silver medals and was the most successful female in British rower of all time she still wanted to aim higher. She had the courage to put the disappointments of coming second behind her and by doing so she ended up finally achieving her dream of Olympic gold. I wonder if she will carry on her dream to the 2016 Rio Olympics and go for another gold?

Katherine Grainger Olympic Rower

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Abeera Sohail Ysgol Bryngwyn

“The will to win is important but the will to prepare is vital.” Joe Paterno

“If you can’t accept losing, you can’t win.” Vince Lombardi

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but rising up every time we fall.”

When the world’s best athletes gather at their competition ground, records are challenged, medals are contested and lives are changed forever. Here, it is about Usain Bolt, the most lively and determined man. It took just 9.69 seconds for Usain Bolt to become one of the most famous men on the planet. The Jamaican sprinter’s breezy running style seized gold in the 100m at 2008 Beijing Olympics, destroying the world record and leaving his rivals to fight for second place. As he crossed over the line, with a smile on his face, slowed down to begin his celebrations, the world was won over. It was one of the most extraordinary moments in sport. Days later, he won Gold in the 200m a n d

Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The difference between impossible and the possible lies in determination.” Usain Bolt

“Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” Mohammad Ali

“You are never a loser until you quit trying.” – Mike Ditka

‘I have learned that Olympic goals aren’t that easy to achieve. You actually need more than training to be great’. Sara Cartwright St Peters Primary School


sprint r e l a y. A year later, he beat his own 100m record in 9.58 seconds. Usain’s confidence and commitment to sports was his key to success. Now, as the London Games approached, we had the prospect of watching his extreme ambitions all over again. He was to defend his Olympic titles to become a “legend”, he says, only this time he promised to be faster.

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Usain St Leo Bolt was born on August 21st 1986 in Trelawney. He grew with his grocer father Wellesley, his mum Jennifer, his half-sister Christine and half-brother Sadiki. His parents spent much of their time trying to contain their hyperactive elder son by sending him on errands and encouraging his love of sports. At one stage, Wellesley was so worried about Usain that he took him to the doctor to see if there was something wrong. “Turns out I was just lively”, says Bolt. His liveliness since childhood was another key point to his victory. His great talent for cricket won him a sports scholarship to William Knibb H i g h

Usain Bolt won the 200m Silver medal at the Jamaican Championship, aged just 14. At the age of 15, he became the first youngest ever male world junior champion, when he ran 20.61 seconds. This achievement showed how focused he is, with the courage to compete against other hard working athletes. Usain recalled that “I have never been so nervous in his whole life, I was shaking because everyone expected me to get the medal. Winning changed my life because, after that I was like, why should I worry? I haven’t worried since.”

“I have learned to reflect on myself and my life. In this way I am able to know on what I need to work on and what my qualities are. By doing this poster, I will have become a better person”. Erin Brown Woodmill High School

The 100m final attracted a global television audience of a four billion. But Bolt claimed that he’ll avoid stress by not thinking much about the race in the run-up, possibly playing a video game Call of Duty: Black Ops instead, and anyway, as he said before the Olympics “There are so many Jamaican people in London, it’s going to be like at being home.” Usain Bolt is the fastest man in the world. A lot of people think that he is lazy, absent-minded and loves chicken. But, to my mind, Usain is one of the heroes of sports. He is hard working and his passion was developed by his parents in a brilliant way. Everyone is confident that he will win the next race at the Olympics in 2016. School, w h e r e physical education teacher Dwight Barnett noticed his speed around the pitch and urged him to focus on track and field. “Sometimes I’d look at that stopwatch, there’s something wrong with this watch. No kid can run that quickly”, Barnett said. At 12 Bolt ran 52 seconds flat for the 400m on a grass track (quick enough to qualify for this year’s Olympic

sain Bolt

Olympic Runner

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women’s event). But, despite his ability, he hated training and admits that he hid in the local games arcade to avoid it.

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Matthew McEalean St Mary’s School

“This project made me think more about what values and qualities I have. I had never really sat down and thought about them and I now realise that I have lots of achievements to be proud of. This project was a good exercise to evaluate myself.”

Emily Robertson Condorrat School

’t have “I have learned that you don e part to be in full condition to tak can in the Olympics because you o Als s. pic alym Par the in t take par e hav about the values and that you to be determined and focused”

burn Jessica Thor chool S rrol Primary

arched t and rese u o b a d e “I’ve learn ts and ld medallis go f es and o s t lo t the valu u o b a d n a ust athletes, athletes m t a h t s t n learned commitme I’ve also . d e e c c u er have to s f charact strength o e h g. t n t ro u o w ab go hen things in required w ing people z a m a e m o s There are .” our world


Flora Reid

Broughton High School

“Taking part in this project has made me think about my future, what I would like to achieve in life and how I’m going to do it. It unearthed the tale of Billy Mills, who never gave up and has inspired me to follow in his footsteps. Thank you.”

Lasswade Primary School “In this process I have lear ned a lot about myself and my streng ths and weaknesses. I have really looked into my personality. I have achieved an in-depth poster tha t shows my creative side and my presentation skills have improv ed loads by trying really hard on this.”

Darren McTaggart Baldragon Academy

elf “I have learned a lot about mys in. live I nity and about the commu e hav o als e During the project I’v at I the opportunity to explore wh an. icem pol a need to do to become at wh ut I enjoyed thinking abo to I’m good at and what I need has r work on, and my teache ut given me some good ideas abo volunteering.”

Euan Gregory

Albyn School

“I have learned loads about myself. I never had to think about myself be fore, but this has made me look de ep and think ab out what I could improve on as well as what is good about me. This has been an am azing opportun ity and I’m so glad that I’ve done it. It has given m e a chance to set goals for my lif e.”

Rebecca Crothers

Oakgrove Integrated School


gh Nathan Fordyce-Wri y

Bell Baxter Academ

l my e more aware al “’I have becom in t I contribute abilities and wha to le ab be I will day-to-day life. e life and complet in e or achieve m als.” my aims and go


Charlotte Bowe

‘After finishing this piece of work, I feel that I have learned how much effort it takes to be ion the Olympics, how much you hav e to train and what kind of skills you need when becoming an athlete ’.

C e l e b r a t i n g

A s p i r a t i o

Feedback from Inspire > Aspire


ll Anna-Maria O’Donnehool

Sc St Mary’s Grammar project, I have “In doing this a lot about actually learned ’ve written it I myself, because e to remind me er down and it’s th also learned a ve who I am. I ha lympian, Tatyana ra lot about my Pa I think is a McFadden, who l person.” very inspirationa

Solomon Trimble

Nicole Magierek

Roundwood Park School ey “I have learned about Tom Dal e hav I is. and how inspiring he also thought about my own life and what I want to achieve”

Daniel Gieddis

ory School Inchmarlo Preparat learned “I think I have als is a very that setting go in life as long important thing goals. I have as they’re good inspiration is at also learned th d without it an o to t an import where’.” we would be no

Regent House

“With this booklet, I think I have learnt a lot about what people in the Olympics think about the sports involved. I have als o concentrated a lot more on what I want in life.”

Kelan Meharg

Emily Barter

Roundwood Park School “I think by doing this project I have seen what skills I am good at and what skills I need to improve on to benefit others as well as myself.”

Clare Silas

St Louise’s Comprehensive College ian ‘I have learned about my Olymp ing hav how and s doe and what she am. dre her ect aff ’t a disability didn f I have also learnt about mysel at wh and at d goo am and what I e’. rov imp to I need to do

St Colms High School “I have learned about Mohammed Ali and all of his achievements. I also learned if I push myself I can achieve anything.”

Brittani Brown

Belfast Model School for Girls “I have learned a lot about Chris Hoy and how he became an Olympic athlete. Also I learned about achievement and how you can put your mind to things and achieve it.”

Megan Long

St Louise’s Comprehensive School

“I have learned that the person I chose has her own running track. I used to run on it tra ining for marat hon. This and is wh ds young people through a process of discovering more the about themselves about y I others to chose Mary Peters. The definit ion of Aspire poster completed in this way is first-hand evidence of how theisLondon 2012 Games have left also som ething I have learnt along with other things about myself.”

f the most compelling content from inspirational young people across the UK who have shown ve the aspiration to lead a generation.

I have learnt the skills I am good at and the skills I need to work on. Now I can work on them and achieve them. Rebekah Forte, Latymer All Saints

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