PE students meet with paralympian

Fran Williamson with Sandy Upper School students
Fran Williamson with Sandy Upper School students

GCSE students were visited by a paralympian.

Retired swimmer Fran Williamson spoke to the Year 10 PE group as part of the Sky Sports – Living For Sport programme.

Whilst representing Great Britain between 2001 and 2011 she won 12 world championship medals and six Paralympic medals.

Fran, who was born with athetoid cerebral palsy, is the current world recorder holder for S3 50m backstroke.

PE teacher Ryan Nicholl said: “The Year 10 GCSE PE group are an excellent group who deserved a visit from an elite athlete.

“The aim of the project in terms of the group was to help raise achievement and ensure students aspire to be the best they can be.

“Having spent much of her teenage years and twenties as part of a very inspirational team of athletes, Fran has gained a vast amount of knowledge and insight into the world of disability sport.

“This is a valuable, uncommon, attribute to have and one that Fran hopes she can share and put to use in the future.”

As well as her sporting achievements Fran also found time to concentrate on her education. She has a first class degree in social policy from Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge and she has a masters in disability studies from Leeds University.

Fran spoke to the students about the six keys to success; mental toughness, hunger to achieve, people skills, sports and life knowledge, breaking barriers and planning for success.

GCSE student Josh Davies said:” Fran has inspired me to always have a positive attitude towards life. Always have oh wells rather than what ifs.”

His fellow student Adam Hunt added: “The visit has made me realise that anything is possible if you believe in yourself.”