Bow Students Inspired By Roger Black
On Wednesday 23rd May Bow School were very privileged to have two guest speakers; Ex-Olympic GB athlete Roger Black and a gentleman who has turned his life around from previous adversity, Sean Kelly.
For 14 years Roger represented Great Britain at the highest level in the world of athletics; winning 15 major championship medals including European, Commonwealth, and World Championship Gold medals. One of his greatest achievements was winning the Olympic 400-metre silver medal in 1996. He is particularly admired for his triumphs in adversity; successfully overcoming several serious injuries and setbacks throughout his career.
While Sean Kelly served two and a half years in prison he was introduced to the Cisco Networking Academy PICTA course. Sean passionately believes that making the commitment to this course has helped him turn his life around. Sean has a positive new outlook and is dedicated to continue improving his life and building a better future for himself. Sean is a perfect example of how with the right support and opportunity, anyone can change their future for the better.
It was a great experience for the pupils in Year 8 and Year 9 to be able to hear two very different, yet similar stories from two men in different walks of life. Roger Black told the story of how he dreamed of a career as a doctor and then found himself running for Great Britain and how actually he knew that was what he really enjoyed doing. He went on to explain his greatest moments in athletics. Surprisingly Roger’s greatest moment was not one of his nine gold medals but the Silver medal he received behind Michael Johnson in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. He explained that on that day he was fit, ready, prepared and from start to finish he ran the perfect race – he ran at 100% of his ability and potential. Roger continued to say that as he stood on the podium to receive his Silver medal for second place that in fact it felt like a Gold medal to him because he had performed at the maximum that he could! Now that may sound deafest to some but I think the boys understood, Roger continued to explain; everyone in life has different goals and targets and for this reason it is only us that can decide which of these goals are our own personal Gold medal!
After Roger we heard from Sean. Sean told us about his time in prison, how he ended up there, how easy it is for everything in his life to go wrong and how only now he is starting to put his life back together. Sean’s story was incredible, he seemed very clear that if he had heard from someone who had done bad things and the effects on that person’s life when he was in school, then he may have known to not turn out the way he did!
Overall it was an inspirational day for the Year 8 and 9 pupils with the highlight being Roger’s explanation of the 4x4 relay gold medal in Barcelona Olympics 1992 when they were never expected to beat the American team; a message that has stuck with the pupils as during the Tower Hamlets Athletics competition on Thursday 24th May. The athletics team told Mr Lenahan, Bow School Head of PE after winning the 4x4 and 4x1 relays they said:
“Sir, we are doing a Roger Black”
Thank you to Sean and Roger, and to all pupils at Bow School, make sure you make the most of all opportunities put in front of you!!!