Youngsters from Greendown Community School were given encouragement by British Olympic rower Pete Gardner, right, to aim high in all aspects of their lives at the school’s annual sports presentation held at the County Ground in early July.
He gave out awards to pupils who had represented the school, county and national teams, and those who had done well in their year group.
Now chief executive of the British Athletes Commission, which represents the interests of all athletes, Pete told the pupils that he did not actually win a medal at Athens 2004. “That point was an important one to get across,” said Pete. “You can strive and work hard, but not everybody makes it to the very top. But you must use every single opportunity to be the best you can. Chase your dream, don’t make excuses not to do something; you’ll learn so much on the journey.
“Unfortunately in Britain, society loves to build people up, then we’re almost pleased to see them fail. We need to celebrate the winners and recognise those who take the risk and try their hardest to achieve.”
Speaking before the start of the Beijing Olympics he believes the London games in 2012 will be very successful. “There is so much negativity about London, but look deeper. It is going to be fantastic for the young athletes now in training around Britain and also the nation itself.
"The British have a tremendous appreciation of sport across the world and recognise talent, wherever it comes from. I think its because of our past record of low achievement as a country that we've become very knowledgeable of sport across the globe, and also balanced in our attitude towards understanding what it requires to become a great sportsman or woman”
Greendown Year 8 pupil Georgia Clements was the only girl from Swindon to compete at the national trampoline championships in early July.
The youngster from Grange Park progressed to the national gymnastic championships with the Esprit Club in 2006 and was asked if she would like to try trampoline.
She currently travels weekly to the Evolution Trampoline Club in Frome and continues gymnastics with Esprit. She will soon have to consider which sport to specialise in.
Below: Peter competing against a Greendown pupil in a row-off