Sixth-formers, parents and guests packed the Richard Whiteley Theatre at Giggleswick School on Friday to share an inspirational evening with one of Britain’s greatest paralympic athletes, Tanni Grey-Thompson, who delivered this year’s prestigious Glover Lecture.
With a talk entitled “Aim High”, Baroness Grey-Thompson captured the audience with her down to earth and determined approach to life, revealing the personal stories, challenges and opportunities that led her to become the best in the world and, more recently, a member of the House of Lords.
Discussing her remarkable paralympic career, in which she achieved a haul of 11 gold medals, 4 silvers, 1 bronze and over 20 world records, the Baroness was keen to express to pupils the importance of hard work, resilience and making the most of every opportunity that comes your way.
“My paralympic career and medals were achieved in just 20 minutes on a track” she explained, “but it took 4,500 hours of training twice a day, six days a week, 50 weeks of the year for the last 16 years to achieve this.”
Guests were also treated to a rare insight into life at the House of Lords. “A vote has the power to change the world” she explained. “I take my role seriously and sport has definitely helped me to put in the hard work and preparation required to contribute, influence and win votes.”
Sixth-former and budding athlete, Sammy Baker-Jones had the honour of meeting the Baroness at the event and commented: “Tanni is proof that if you really want something and you try your best, you can achieve anything. It shows how far determination and belief can take you and that you should never give up, no matter what difficulties life throws at you. It is very inspiring”
Other sixth-formers were keen to question their guest on a wide range of subjects including performance enhancing drugs, disability in sport and the assisted dying bill. With plenty of food for thought, the debates continued over supper following thanks from the Headmaster, Mark Turnbull, and a presentation of gifts by the Heads of School, Isobel Francis and Christopher Mills.