The Mount welcomed Team GB triple jump champion Laura Samuel today when she visited the girls on behalf of Sports For Champions.
Laura addressed girls from the Senior and Junior schools in the morning, sharing with them her story on how she became a championship athlete, and how important it is to enjoy your chosen sports. She urged the girls to try a number of different sports and not stick to just one discipline.
Laura then took different year groups through circuit training drills in the Sports Hall. Although some found it extremely challenging, the girls loved it. “The drills were fun, but I did notice I was much more tired the second time around.” – Morgan (Y8)
“Once you’ve done a couple of circuits, you notice the different parts of your body have been working. Like the push ups were hard on our arms, but then the star jumps gave our arms a rest.” – Asta (Y5)
“I liked the session because it was quite challenging. I mean, I couldn’t do this for six hours a day, but going through a couple of circuits was quite fun.” – Brontë (Y6)
“I enjoyed the challenge, and seeing how real athletes train,” – Amelia (Y4)
“I liked how it was really hard, but also really fun.” – Emilia (Y4)
Laura said of her visit, “I love going into schools. For me, it’s important that young people understand you need to make sure you’re having fun in sports. Try a couple of different sports, don’t just stick to one thing. You never know what you’re going to be good at. From my own experience, I don’t look like a typical triple jump athlete. But I had a go and was good at it and am now taking it as far as I can go.”
“Triple jump is an individual sport but with Team GB we travel as a team, so I am very lucky to have the best of both worlds,” said Laura.
Her favourite quote is: “Dream. Believe. Achieve.” Laura, whose personal best is currently 1cm off Olympic standard, leaves shortly for warm weather training in Tenerife. When she returns, she will continue her training and school visits as she prepares for the Euro Team Championships, the British Championships and this year’s World Championships.
As for most professional athletes, Laura’s biggest challenge is financial support while she pursues her dream on the international arena. Sports For Champions facilitates fundraising for pro athletes and also supports sports development in schools. Today’s event raised over £1,000 in aid of Sports For Champions and for refurbishing The Mount’s own existing sports facilities.
Laura herself was inspired to begin her athletic journey when a long distance runner from her local community visited her own school. Who knows how far our budding Mount athletes will go after being inspired by Laura’s visit?