08/02/2016

Heroes...



A poignantly appropriate introduction to this week's theme.

On Friday I attended, for the fourth year in succession, the perennially excellent Get Berkshire Active inspiration and achievement awards evening. As it says on the the ticket...

Get Berkshire Active Awards

In previous years I have had the privilege of nominating 'unsung heroes' who have inspired my own passions and interests, ultimately shaping personal career choice and, dare I say, vocation...

Doug Cook, legendary PE teacher at Park House, with over fifty years of outstanding service to school and community who was running Berkshire Schools Athletics Teams when I was 14...

Doug Cook clipping

(Doug fifth from left on front row of 1979 photo that includes a future 10,000m Commonwealth Games Champion and an 800m rival to Coe, Cram and Ovett... neither of whom are obviously me!)

Steeplechase

And Gerry Stevens, former UK Steeplechase record-holder and my first coach at Reading Athletic Club, who forty years later  continues to tirelessly mentor and encourage future generations of young athletes...

Gerry Stevens

Both worthy recipients of lifetime achievement awards in recognition of their selfless dedication to others.

Heroes.

Heroes inspire. On a daily basis, not just for one day. Our school is full of them. They are our students.

And it was one of them who this week provides the inspiration for this blog in every sense.

Portia Crumplin Hill

Portia Crumplin-Hill in Year 7 had independently reflected on what it means to be a hero. Those reflections challenged stereotypical images of exclusively sporting or celebrity role models, however worthy; Olympians included. For her, heroism was to be found not remotely on TV but in the daily actions of the crew of the Thames Valley Air Ambulance....

www.tvairambulance.org.uk

And she wanted to tell me about in a brilliantly mature presentation which outlined not only her thinking on what really constitutes heroism, but also fully researched and innovative ideas for a series of fund-raising activities in support of the charity that we can now take forward later in the year.

Air Ambulance Logo

Portia's inspiration resonated with that of another Year 7 student, Tiegan Doyle, who almost exactly twelve months ago came to me with a similarly inspired idea to host a school-based Race For Life.

The rest, as they say, is recent history...

Charity Run

How wonderful to be blessed with heroes for much more than just one day...

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