On Tuesday 20th March, Olympic gymnast Craig Heap visited Thornhill to deliver motivational assemblies to our Year 10 and 11 pupils. Craig has worked as an Athlete Mentor for the Youth Sport Trust since 2007 and as part of the Sky Sports Living for Sport team.
Pictured above: Year 11 pupils wearing Craig's Olympic tracksuit jackets, his Gold medals and holding the medal he recieved from the Queen for his Olympic achievements.
A very amusing speaker, Craig said “I like to give others, particularly young people, the belief that they too can achieve whatever they want to if they put their minds to it and commit themselves 100%. Life is full of opportunities and you have to grab them when you can”
Craig started taking an interest in gymnastics when he was nine years old after waiting with his mum while his sister did her gymnastic class. A bit of a hyperactive youngster; this proved a great way to channel Craig's energy into doing something positive.
After this 100% commitment led Craig, an artistic gymnast to achieve both national and international success at the highest level. His message to our GCSE candidates was to "strive for what you want, don't worry about what others may think of you, don't be content with half measures - do your best!" Being a young gymnast was not easy for Craig as he attended an all boys high school where more 'macho' sports were taking place. Craig, however believes this made him tough and helped him to find his own identity and become the person he is today.
Craig has represented England over 100 times, attended five World Championships, two Commonwealth Games and the 2000 Sydney Olympics Games. Craig provided us with an inspiring story of success through sheer determination and hard work. Well done and thank you to Mrs Thom for organising the visit
Craig's medals are pictured below.