What an amazing few weeks we have had at Four Swannes! As part of our focus on Black History Month and with this year’s emphasis on ‘Proud to be’, we have been lucky enough to have some wonderful opportunities to meet such inspirational people.
Our first visitors were Kadeen and Sasha Corbin who both play at the highest level of netball for Saracen Mavericks and England. Having watched them in action I can truly appreciate the skill and expertise they need to maintain their positions at such a professional level. Kadeen and Sasha were good enough to share their experiences in our school assembly and spoke about how important it is to work hard to achieve your ambitions in life and the need to be resilient in the face of any challenges. A message that would be repeated throughout the coming days. After showing their medal and giving some great advice, our netball club members were lucky enough to be able to receive some excellent tuition from the professionals which will hopefully be a memory that those children can take as a starting point for an excellent sporting future.
I am going to admit that our next visitor is the person that I was personally looking forward to meeting the most. A young woman that achieves the highest standard in everything that she does and has had to fight through injury and other challenges to ensure that she reaches her goals. Asher Philip is simply a wonderful role model for all young people. A true reflection of what is achievable through hard work and dedication, with a healthy portion of not giving up thrown into the mix as well. Asher has a record that was very inspirational for the children being the first GB woman to achieve a gold medal in the 100 metres at any level of professional competition. As well as that lifetime achievement, she was a junior world champion in trampoline there is also the TWO bronze Olympic medals for the 2016 and 2021 Olympic games. She was able to give the children lots of great advice on how to achieve their dreams even when having to deal with barriers such a racism. Asher’s advice was to drive on through and see these people for who they really are. There is nothing that can stop true determination and hard work. Once we had finished asking our questions, Asher offered to take Years 3 and 4 outside to do their daily mile and helped them warm up as the professionals would. A great experience for some of our children and I hope one that may even tempt some of our children to enter the world of sport at the highest level. Maybe even a future world champion!
And just when you thought that “Wow! Four Swannes have had a great time with those visitors.” I have the absolute pleasure of telling you about our next superstar visit. The one and only Scarlett Douglas came to talk to the children about her career and how she has achieved such great heights. A completely lovely, warm and inspirational woman, Scarlett (or Charlotte as we found out!) was good enough to be more specific with supporting the children in their understanding of facing the adversity of racism when a person is working to do their best. She told the children how tough it was to work her way to the top and gave examples of the people who would stand in her way, who negatively stated that she would ‘never make it’. How wrong they were. Through sheer determination and pride, Scarlett explained to the children how each and every person can achieve the highest heights through their resilience and drive to be the best. Truly inspirational! We were able to watch a video of Scarlet in action in such TV roles as A Place in the Sun, The One Show, MTV and roles in blockbuster films such as Marvel Avengers. Such a wonderful person and an excellent example for our young people. After our assembly, Scarlett held workshops with both our Year 5 and 6 children, giving informative examples of how to present to such a high standard.
Yet still, we are not finished there. As I type, Four Swannes are fortunate enough to have Bill John working with all our children today in the martial art of Karate. Bill is a 5th Dan which displays the level of work and dedication that he has towards his discipline. Our children will get to experience an aspect of physical education that they may never have come across or may not have had the opportunity to participate in in their lifetime if not experienced today.
It is important to state that none of these visits would have taken place without the introductions and support from our own Mrs Alcock. Each of our esteemed visitors have been heavily influenced in their early lives by Mrs Alcock and may not have reached such heady heights without her inspiration and guidance. All our personalities were in some way connected to the local community, schools and sports. A stunning sample and small representation of how Mrs Alcock has influenced so many young lives. Four Swannes are exceptionally lucky to have their own weekly inspirational person working with us, encouraging not just the children but the teaching team of the school. And the visits will not stop there. We may have basketball players and ex-England rugby captain visiting the school in the not too distant future. Thank you, Mrs Alcock, from all of us.
Until you spread your wings, you have no idea how far you can fly.