Olympic Gold Medal winner talks to PE students

Olympic Gold Medal winner talks to PE students about careers in sport

Olympic gold winner

Weydon was delighted to welcome Liam Heath, MBE, Olympic gold medal winner, who delivered a careers talk to all Year 9 GCSE PE students.  Liam has become the most successful sprint Canoeist of all time and is European, World and Olympic Champion. He races over 200m and in London 2012 he gained a Bronze medal in the 200m doubles, a silver medal in Rio 2016 in the doubles followed by the gold medal in the singles.

Liam talked about his road to success and some of the training methods he employs to achieve, elements of which will help GCSE PE students.  He is a Guildford boy, born and bred and is a member at Wey Kayak Club where students from Weydon learn to kayak each summer term. Liam told the students how he got into the sport and how he took a break from it to study industrial design and technology at Loughborough University between 2003 and 2006. Shortly after graduating he returned to canoeing and trained at the Wey Kayak Club under the guidance of Paul Dimmock.  He explained how he had to give up on kayaking for the second time after failing to be selected by GB Canoeing.  Liam had to demonstrate determination and resilience which was rewarded when he won the inaugural men's K2 200m Olympic event at London 2012 when he and Jon Schofield secured a bronze medal in the final at Eton Dorney. 

Paul Dimmock, who coached Liam and works to support Liam as a mentor, then delivered a talk about all the other careers related to international and Olympic level sports. Paul has always worked in the sports industry and prior to coming to Weydon was Director of Sport at Brunel University and proudly claims that in 2008 Beijing Olympics Brunel had 17 students competing, four of whom medalled, placing Brunel above Portugal in the Medal table!

Using Liam as an example, Paul explained what sits behind his success. He acknowledged the important role of teachers, specifically PE teachers who inspired him to take up the sport.  He explained how students can find sports related employment at this level in a wide variety of roles such as coaches, physiologists, psychologists, sports scientists, nutritionists, physiotherapists, team managers, logistics managers, transport managers, event managers, regatta course management and in drug testing. 

Paul informed them about the role of the governing body, the importance of safety, access to rivers, coaching courses, equipment manufacturers, research and technology improvements.

The students were thoroughly engaged and inspired by these very detailed and comprehensive talks and were fascinated by the canoe.  They even got to hold Liam’s Olympic medals.

For further information, please contact Mrs J Rodger, Weydon School. Tel: 01252 725052, or email at: jrodger@weydonschool.surrey.sch.uk

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