Pupils inspired by visit of Paralympic athlete

Dave Henson at ARK William Parker SUS-170525-090940001
Dave Henson at ARK William Parker SUS-170525-090940001

Ark William Parker athletes were thrilled when Paralympic medal winner Dave Henson joined them for a run on their athletics track.

Dave had been visiting the area and needed a track to train on; the academy was more than happy to help and welcomed Dave to use the facilities.

Dave Henson at ARK William Parker SUS-170525-090752001

Dave Henson at ARK William Parker SUS-170525-090752001

Dave, who has also won a gold medal in the 200m Invictus Games, spoke to the students about his journey.

They listened intently as he described how he had both his legs blown off while on patrol for the Royal Engineers in Afghanistan; how during his rehabilitation he found a new passion for sport and how he went on to win a bronze medal in the Rio Paralympic Games.

The boys were very curious about his running blades and inspected them with great interest before joining Dave for a run around the track.

Teacher Rob Martellini said: “What a great opportunity for the boys to have such an inspirational speaker visit them during their athletics lesson. The boys were in awe of Dave and his story.

Dave Henson at ARK William Parker SUS-170525-090929001

Dave Henson at ARK William Parker SUS-170525-090929001

“It was an eye-opening experience for the Year 8s and allowed them to realise the importance of hard work and determination, and how perseverance can help them achieve their goals.”

Head of PE Jimmy Elford added: “It was a privilege to welcome Dave to our school to use our facilities.

“Our boys were engrossed in his journey and it was amazing to have a Paralympic athlete join us and see him in action.

“We wish him every success in the future and he is welcome back to inspire our students any time.”

Dave Henson at ARK William Parker SUS-170525-090918001

Dave Henson at ARK William Parker SUS-170525-090918001

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