Great visit to my old school, Biddick Academy today, I was made to feel very welcome by the headteacher Mr Cowen and the school Governors. Even though I have spoken to a lot of schools since returning from Rio, I felt nervous going back into Biddick, but I was soon put at ease, by the staff and pupils.
On arrival in the school I spoke to some of the pupils about my experiences in Rio. I was interviewed by Russell Ward, from BBC Radio Newcastle – click the play button below
It was great to meet Amy Lea from ITV Tyne Tees, before unveiling a plaque the school had made for me. I was totally overwhelmed when I saw this and was left speechless.
Watch my the video of my interview with Amy …
Link to Tyne Tees website … http://www.itv.com/news/tyne-tees/update/2016-11-22/gold-medallist-unveils-plaque-at-former-school/
Next we went to a classroom for some light refreshments. This was a great half an hour where some of my old teachers popped along to see me and have a hold of my Gold Medal, including Mrs Edgell, Mrs Roberts, Mr Cole, Mr Bowles, Mr Dunstan, Mr Stidolph, Mr Walmsley, Mrs Potter, Mr Anderson, Mrs Clemonts and Mr Mckenzie.
Thanks to Mrs Edgell and the rest of the PE Department for the bottle of Champagne.
Then it was off to Watson Hall where I spoke to group of pupils, about my time in Rio and showed them my race videos and medal presentation. The pupils then came up with a lot of interesting questions. Finally I stayed behind in the Watson Hall allowing the pupils to take a closer look at the Medal, and ask anymore questions and take a selfie or two.
On way out I had to stop off in the Pupil Office to show the staff my Gold Medal, as they regularly signed me out of school to allow me to go swimming.
Overall I had a great visit and it was lovely to be back in my old school.
The community at Biddick felt so privileged to have you attend the school and share your success with students, staff and governors. We can’t express how proud we are as a school and the students were overwhelmed by your presence.
Paul Cowen (Head Teacher, Biddick Academy)