Olympic gold medallist David Hemery CBE was the guest speaker at the Nova Hreod Year 11 leavers’ evening in December where he gave an inspirational talk.
The audience reacted with applause when the vice-chairman of the British Olympic Committee opened his talk with a video of his epic high altitude 400 metres hurdle win at the 1968 Mexico Olympics. From then on parents, former pupils and staff were enthralled by his words of wisdom on ways to achieve success in life. He said his sports training had determined everything he has done since – going on to hold the hurdles world record, win the TV Superstars competition three times, as well as becoming a leading business development coach and mentor in life awareness skills.
David recently established the charity 21st Century Legacy, which is developing a schools’ programme to draw out the best in children, challenging them to ‘Live Olympian’ in body, mind, emotion and spirit. However in 1998 headteacher Andrew Fleet brought David into Hreod Parkway School (now Nova Hreod) to develop life skills teacher training techniques to motivate young people to do the best they can.
Earlier in the evening, unveiling a plaque, David said, “I really am delighted to open this sports hall. With the opportunities presented by the 2012 Olympics and the challenge of the growing obesity problem in society, it is a privilege to be associated with this new facility which will encourage physical activity in the community.”
On a short tour of the school, he described Nova Hreod’s central dome as ‘stunning and futuristic.’ “The design of the school must be a significant factor in motivating pupils,” he said.
Pictured above, David Hemery, Andrew Fleet with Nova Hreod pupils and Greenmeadow under 9s who train in the sports hall