Athlete Mentor Visit

Jun 28, 2021




We were thrilled to welcome Athlete Mentor and Olympian, Tom Haffield, to Vandyke on Friday 11th June as part of our Girls ‘Active in Mind’ YST training programme. The day started with a talk from the former British Olympic and Commonwealth 400m Individual Medley Swimmer to our Sixth Form ‘Girls’ Activators’ and Year 10 ‘Girls  Active’ Leaders. Tom spoke to us about the achievements throughout his career and how he had got there through hard work, dedication and sacrifices, by him and his family. The girls thoroughly enjoyed the training which entailed learning the qualities, skills and knowledge they require to be good leaders and how to keep a positive mindset to help encourage others. They worked collaboratively developing their skills to create active sessions that are both enjoyable and engaging for fellow students.

In the afternoon, Tom delivered an assembly to Year 11 GCSE PE, Sports Science and Year 13 ‘A’ Level PE students. He spoke of the support  from his coach when he ‘fell out of love’ with swimming at the age of 17. Tom began messing around in training, not concentrating and he frequently argued with his coach. Without the encouragement of his coach, Tom told us that he would definitely not have got to the Olympic and Commonwealth Games and gone on to achieve what he did.

Part of the day was assigned to action planning. Mentors, Miss Preston and Mrs Ward, supported the girls to think of ways they could apply their skills to develop Sixth Form Enrichment PE sessions and the ‘Girls’ Sports Club’.  They came up with ideas on how to involve more girls who are typically less interested in sports by offering a more diverse range of activities. They recognised how being active builds friendships and embeds the long-term benefits of a healthy lifestyle. “I can’t wait to help at the club, it is such a great opportunity”, said one of the girls.

Girls’ Sports Club is every Wednesday after school from 3 – 4pm.  ALL GIRLS are welcome to attend, it’s very relaxed and sociable. Check out our Instagram page every Monday (@vandykepe) for details on what’s on each week.

Post by Angela