Nicola Minichiello, leading member of the Great Britain Bobsleigh team from 2001-2011 and Rachael Mackenzie, World Thai-Boxing champion visited all six primary schools in Pontefract Academies Trust this week to deliver an inspirational assembly with a strong focus on resilience. Rachael spoke to the pupils about how her career wouldn’t have been what it is today if she hadn’t have had the perseverance to keep on going, and made the point about how every single person has the same skill set, no one is unique, we just have to train hard and have dreams and aspirations.
The assemblies were organised as part of a partnership with Youth Sport Trust. Youth Sport Trust equips educators and empowers young people with the vision of creating a future where every child enjoys the life-changing benefits of play and sport.
The six schools included, Carleton Park Junior & Infant School, De Lacy Pontefract Primary School, Halfpenny Lane Junior, Infant & Nursery School, Larks Hill Junior & Infant School, Orchard Head Junior, Infant & Nursery School and The Rookeries Junior, Infant & Nursery School.
Nicola has been an Athlete Mentor for a number of years and said: “I wanted to be involved with the Youth Sport Trust to make a difference, to help young people recognise their strengths and reach their potential. When I was younger I struggled at school and didn’t achieve in either the academic or sporting field. Through hard work and determination, I overcame my challenges and have since gone on to become one of the most successful female Winter Olympians of the modern era. I hope my story can inspire the young people I have met at Pontefract Academies Trust, to be the best they can be.”
Kate Wood, Physical Education, School Sport and Well Being Coordinator at Pontefract Academies Trust said: “We feel very lucky to have been able to welcome two high profile athletes into our primary schools. Both spoke so well about perseverance and determination and how it’s not always an easy path to your end goal but you can achieve whatever you believe. We know our pupils will have gone home inspired today.”
The Youth Sport Trust uses sport to give young people a platform to have their voice heard and a place to feel they belong. They believe they harness this extraordinary power to change young lives today and help them build a brighter tomorrow.