Olympic sprinter visits Ormiston Park Academy

ON a bright but very cold morning Ormiston Park Academy were very lucky to host the British Athletics ‘Street 2 Stadium’ event.  40 participants from Years 7 to 10 were selected from Ormiston Park Academy main school site and their ASCEND provision, to take part in a talent identification scheme aiming to spot future Olympic and Paralympic athletes.  

The initiative provided prospective athletes with a chance to meet and hear from some of the best British track and field athletes in the country. They had their fitness challenged by leading coaches and were provided with information about athletics clubs and the performance pathway in the sport. In addition, athletes with a disability were able to find out all about the Paralympic system through the British Athletics Parallel Success co-ordinators.

Ormiston Park Academy students excelled and a small group of attendees were selected to be part of the Street 2 Stadium Academy based on how well they performed on the trial day. British Athletics will direct these athletes to their local club where they will be provided with weekly training sessions during term-time.

Three awesome coaches from British Athletics, including Olympian and Commonwealth Gold Medallist Clarence Callender, took the Ormiston Park Academy students through a rigorous warm up followed by testing in four athletic disciplines.  The trial events were 60 metre sprint, 600 metre run, chest push throw and standing long jump.  These were to test speed, strength, power and stamina.   All students competed in each event and a fantastic team of Ormiston Park Year 10 Sports Leaders recorded times and distances, while motivating the students to do their best.

Everyone had a great time, meeting the inspirational coaches and trying their best at the different skills.  Participants could not stop talking about the event afterwards and are keen for more.

Quote from participants:

“The event was a positive experience because I was able to take part in sport with my friends and compete with different year groups.” (Year 10)

“I got to do lots of fun sports and take part.  My favourite part was the running.  I kept improving my scores.  It was interesting to see an Olympian at our school.” (Year 7)

“I enjoyed it, it helped make my leg better.  I met students from different year groups.  I had lots of fun and my favourite coach was the lady at the long jump.” (Year 7 with CP)

Quote from Leader:

“It was a very positive experience and everyone enjoyed the activities and made new friends.” (Year 10)

Quote from teacher:

“The students from ASCEND really enjoyed the experience yesterday, they were honoured to be in the presence of a former Olympian and valued the opportunity to show some of their skills by representing our side of the school. I have heard that we had a few students who did extremely well in the 600 metres, they came back very proud of themselves and all staff here in ASCEND are ecstatic with both their behaviour and performance.”

Quote from parent:

“Amazing.  Thank you so much for inviting my son to attend.  He thoroughly enjoyed it and has been beaming since he came home.” (Year 7 parent)

Quote from Mr Roessler (Principal):

“this was a high-quality track and field talent identification opportunity held at Ormiston Park Academy, with all students thoroughly enjoying meeting professional coaches and having the opportunity to run, jump and throw and excel in doing so! What was fundamentally important was to show the children that we can get back to near normal sporting activity after the COVID school closure periods that we have endured. Really important for mental health and positivity.”

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