Olympic hockey skipper Kate Walsh continues to inspire
OLYMPIC hockey captain Kate Walsh visited Humberston Academy in hope of inspiring the next generation of sporting talent.
The 32-year-old, who led Team GB at London 2012, attended for the launch of Play Your Part – a government scheme aimed at increasing junior participation.
Endorsed by Lord Coe, the initiative is a nationwide push that has been embraced by the Academy in view of their own sporting ethos.
Walsh, who won bronze alongside her London teammates, talked about the vast opportunities now on offer, and what it takes to made the international grade.
She said: “I think these schemes give people a wonderful chance. There is a lot of talk of legacy and who is going to provide sport for youngsters.
“Play Your Part are actually doing something about it, not just talking.
“It is showing people that there are several ways to get involved, not just playing – they can officiate or manage as well.
“The Olympics have made a massive difference. So many people have Facebook messaged me, or sent Tweets saying they are getting involved in a sport. That has been really nice.
“I have tried to give the students a view of where I came from. I used to sit in the same seat as them, even though that was a long time ago now.
“From the age of 16, to when I went to Sydney in 2000, was just four years. It wasn’t even a dream – it can be there for them, in sport or any other career.
“If they set their sights high they can achieve. Kids just need that self belief and confidence; it’s about being honest with yourself and finding a balance between knowing when you have done well, and how you need to improve.”
Run by Academy sponsor DRET (the David Ross Education Trust), Play Your Part brings together a range of exciting opportunities to help youngsters make the most of their potential.
As part of the scheme, Humberston have been invited to the inaugural Summer Cup – a competition organised for DRET’s six secondary academies.
In preparation for the tournament, students have spent the past week trying a range of different sports – including a 500m fast and furious row.
The pupils competed in House events, the finale of which included an inflatable bungee run challenge – aimed at creating fun competition.
Steve Kemshall, the Humberston assistant principal, said: “Over the last 6-8 months our students have had access to some incredible sporting opportunities.
“This includes Kate’s visit, in which students were able to gain further knowledge about the life of an elite athlete.
“It is our hope that Play Your Part encourages even more students to get involved.
“Having the support of someone as iconic as Lord Coe has got everybody at the Academy buzzing.
“To compete in front of the person who helped organise our home Olympics is incredible.”