Sporting star visits schools

Rachel McKenzie gives motivational speech to students part of reach for the stars programme at Hipperholme and Lightcliffe High.
Rachel McKenzie gives motivational speech to students part of reach for the stars programme at Hipperholme and Lightcliffe High.

Students had a special visit from two sporting ambassadors to talk about their experiences in sport and the barriers they had to overcome to be a success.

World Thai boxing champion Rachael MacKenzie and ex-Great Britain rugby league international Paul Broadbent attended Rastrick High School as part of the Sky Sports Living for Sport initiative.

World Thai-Boxing champion Rachael Mackenzie visits Rastrick High School as part of the Sky Sports 'Living for Sport' school initiative.

World Thai-Boxing champion Rachael Mackenzie visits Rastrick High School as part of the Sky Sports 'Living for Sport' school initiative.

A group of Year Nine pupils took part in the project which also included learning about and developing skills in Aussie Rules, with the intention of delivering taster sessions to some of the feeder primary schools.

Student Eisley Swaine said: “The skills we have learned are valuable not only in this project but in life. We have all had a lot of fun and really enjoyed working with Paul Broadbent, ex England rugby captain. He spoke about various things in his life that he had had to overcome, which he called barriers. He told us about successful mindsets and how to achieve our potential.

“We can’t wait to go into the primary schools and teach them about Aussie rules, it will be a great experience that will develop skills that will be useful for the rest of our life.”

The world champion Thai-boxer also paid a visit to Hipperholme and Lightcliffe High School.

The school in Stoney Lane has created a bespoke support programme which already caters for nearly 70 pupils to support their aspirations to achieve the top GCSE grades.

The programme runs from January to May and involves additional mentoring, university visits and a series of workshops.

It has already included a pupil launch and parents evening, a workshop looking at the skills and qualities of the most effective and successful people and precisely who these can be applied to achieve the top grades in exams. And now a visit from Rachael who spoke to all Year 11 pupils as well as working on a number of workshops throughout the day.

Rachael said: “The young people I meet are so inspiring for me. It is amazing to see so much enthusiasm and desire to achieve. BY learning new skills and disciplines that they can apply to all aspects of life. Today’s youngsters can really strive to achieve all of their aspirations.”