A group of Year 9 students from Avon Valley College, part of Salisbury Plain Academies, spent the day recently with Olympic modern pentathlete Heather Fell and rugby player Thinus Delport.
The athletes are mentors on the Sky Sports Living for Sport project. They came into the college and introduced the students to some valuable life skills that will help them in and outside of school, now and in the future.
This included the six keys to success which have been developed in partnership with the British Athletes Commission. These are: mental toughness, hunger to achieve, people skills, sports and life knowledge, breaking barriers and planning for success.
“This is about sharing our experiences and journey and helping the students look at their transferable skills,” said Thinus Delport, who is a rugby union wing and fullback player who played for Gloucester, the Worcester Warriors and South Africa.
“I have been very fortunate in my life to have had role models that played a very positive part in my development both as an athlete and as a person. I am eternally grateful to them and have the desire to return that favour to the next generation of young people,” explained Thinus.
Commentating on becoming an Athlete Mentor, Heather, who has achieved an Olympic Silver medal and World Number 1, said, “I have gained so much confidence from my success as an athlete and want to help others benefit from the difference that sport can have on life. I find it inspiring being able to help the students realise their potential.”
The Year 9 students spent the morning in the classroom with Heather and Thinus before doing some practical work.
Fourteen year old student, Gabe Wardle who took part said, “One of the things I have learnt is not to give up and stay positive.”
AVC is hosting an Open Event for potential pupils on 11th July. There will be tours of the college and the chance to meet teachers and students.