New Perspectives

For me, the unexpected highlight of the last day of the 2013 Youth SportTrust Conference has been the opportunity to reflect on refreshingly new perspectives on the leadership challenges that  face us in schools. The two key note speakers were inspired choices in every sense of the word! 
To open the morning, we were treated to a beautifully crafted - and latterly interactive! - presentation on the centrality of trust by the founder and conductor of the Paraorchestra, Charles Hazlewood.  The Paraorchestra, made up exclusively of disabled musicians, of course performed so memorably alongside Cold Play at the Paralympic Games Closing Ceremony last summer, providing a brilliant counterpoint (musical pun deliberately intended!) to the wonderfully inclusive sporting festival that preceded it.  The trust that bound this wonderfully talented group of musicians together under Charles' empowering leadership was then put to the test by him in attempting to teach the audience of 500 Headteachers and PE teachers to perform a four-part harmony!   He's very good at his job! We actually managed it very well!
Conference concluded on an equally inspirational high note (double pun again intentionally intended!). Bonita Norris is the youngest British woman ever to climb Everest.  In a spell-binding account of her journey to the summit she took us from her chance attendance at a mountaineering meeting in London to accompany a friend when she would have gone clubbing, through the influence of powerful mentors to the unrelenting drive and sense of focus that sustained her through both the months of fund-raising, gruelling preparations  and super human challenge of the ascent itself.  It was, as she so eloquently put it, the challenge of journey rather than the reaching of the summit, that was so special.
An inspirational message, from a new perspective, to conclude an inspirational two days of discussion and reflection.