Paralympic star thanks Cordeaux
AN INSPIRING Paralympian has visited her former school and thanked students for their support.
Javelin thrower Hollie Arnold, who used to train with Cleethorpes Athletic Club, secured a personal best and finished fifth in the F46 javelin event at the London Paralympics for Team GB.
After being roared on by a supportive crowd, which included students from Cordeaux School in Louth, the 18-year-old decided to drop into her old school to thank them personally.
Arnold, formerly from Holton-le-Clay, said: "I was really overwhelmed that a large group of students and staff came to the Paralympics to support me. Not many schools would have done that during the summer holidays for a former pupil.
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"The atmosphere from the crowd was amazing. I looked for the flags the Cordeaux students had made, I heard my best friend Gabriella Gambie shouting support to me and I saw one of my teachers in the crowd.
"It is a little depressing now all the buzz from London is over but it really was an amazing experience.
"When I was on the Team GB coach tour following the games in London, the amount of people who came out to show support was amazing.
"There were even people hanging out their windows at work"
Arnold, who also competed in the Beijing Olympics when she was 14, has her eyes now set on the 2016 Rio Olympics.
She said: "I have gone through two Paralympics and I came away with a new personal best from London.
"I'm only 18 and I've still got so much ahead of me. Rio is mine though."
Arnold, pictured above, said she has lots of fond memories of being at Cordeaux.
She said: "The school gave me so much support. They gave me the time off I needed for my competitions abroad and were understanding about my training. I met my best friend here and I'm still in touch with my school friends."
During her visit to Cordeaux, Arnold gave a short talk to students and presented the school with a signed Team GB T-shirt, which deputy headteacher Mark Roberts, said will take pride of place in the school.
He said: "Hollie is a true inspiration. She was a model student while she was here and it is fantastic she has given up time during her week off from training to come and see us.
"The Olympics and Paralympics are all about inspiring the next generation and Hollie is just that. The fact that she is a former student too I hope will inspire some of our pupils to get into sport and achieve their very best."