“Education is the key to unlocking the world, a passport to freedom.”Oprah Winfrey.
Since retiring from elite sport I have been fortunate enough to work with a huge number of schools, both in the UK and internationally, giving youngsters of all ages the opportunity to meet an Olympic athlete and hear about the lessons I learnt across the course of my career. Whilst at a school, I always take time to integrate with the students and staff, as well as presenting more formally in assemblies, and delivering fun, technique-focused swimming sessions in the pool.
I’ve found that sporting youngsters get a real buzz from having a Team GB Olympian present in their school – seeing demonstrations in the swimming pool, and hearing about life as an elite athlete. Those who are not so interested in sport still tend to find the presentations incredibly beneficial, as I talk about generic topics such as goal setting, dealing with disappointment and why ‘trying again’ is so important. The management of nerves and keeping worries in context are skills that are applicable to any area of life. My overarching message is that we should never let a fear of failure prevent us from trying our best; it is not our results that ultimately define us, but rather our daily attitude towards the challenges and goals that lie before us.
Every visit is be tailor-made to suit the requirements of the school, and I will adapt pool sessions to match the age groups and swimming abilities of the students. The visit can be linked into a regular school week, or scheduled to coincide with a specific event in your calendar. In the past, I’ve given speeches at prize-giving ceremonies, started races at sports days, and jumped in the pool to race at an end of term swimming gala – the structure really is up to you!
“Lizzie gave an incredibly inspiring speech to our students. They were hooked on every word and gained a real insight into being an elite sportsperson. More importantly they learnt a great deal from Lizzie about resilience, determination and motivation. Feedback from all who were fortunate enough to be in attendance was highly positive with many staff also commenting on what a great speech and saying how they too were inspired. Thank you Lizzie!”Gary Sleight
Head of PE, the Priory School Lincoln
Adapting to Covid-19
Since March 2020, many schools have been implementing physical distancing measures to align to official government guidance. I have adapted my content into an entire syllabus of online presentations, each focused on a different part of the elite athlete mindset. Since the UK lockdowns have been in place, I have been delivering this content across the world, reaching greater audiences and having even more impact during challenging times.
“Lizzie’s visit was an unforgettable few days for our school and swimming club, and we would love to have her back again in the future!”Stu Clarke
Head Coach, British School Muscat
If you work at a progressive school with a commitment to maximising the potential and achievement of every individual, I would love to chat with you further about working together to provide a memorable occasion for the students and staff. Please direct all enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org