PARALYMPIC champions David Smith, Suzanna Hext, Martin Sinclair, and Ali Smith visited Treloar’s School and College in Holybourne last week for the launch of the new Treloar’s School teams.
Each guest, who all have very close connections with the school, was invited to be an ambassador for the new school teams; called Fire, Earth, Air and Water.
David, Martin and Ali attended a school assembly where the head of school, Lisa Bond, formally invited them to become team ambassadors.
David spoke to the students about the opportunities Treloar’s had given him and inspired them to be open to try new things and say ‘yes’ to new adventures.
David and Ali generously presented team GB closing ceremony jackets from the Tokyo Paralympics.
Afterwards, the special guests posed for photographs, chatted with students and played boccia with members of the boccia squad.
Student Sophie was lucky enough to have a one-to-one coaching session with David Smith, who was incredibly generous mentoring her individually.
Ali and Martin both said they “felt privileged to be invited to be team ambassadors”.
Martin said he looked forward to “being a role model for future generations” and taking part in events “that showcase student’s ability rather than their disability”.
On Suzanna’s visit, she spent time in the classroom and answered questions prepared for her by the students after being welcomed as team ambassador for Water.
She also visited the new outdoor learning centre where she met Whiskey the Shetland pony from Riding for the Disabled. After the visit Susanna said on her Instagram “days like today mean the world to me”.
David Smith, who is Britain’s most decorated boccia player of all time, will be ambassador for team Fire. Suzanna Hext, who competed in the para dressage and swim team, will be ambassador for team Water. English footballer, Martin Sinclair will be ambassador for team Earth. Sprinter Ali Smith will be ambassador for team Air.
A school spokesman said: “Treloar’s continually searches for opportunities for students to feel more connected to and involved in the community around them.
“School teams encourage positive relationships between students of all ages and foster a friendly competitive spirit.
“Treloar School is passionate about providing students with opportunities to identify and relate to aspirational people to focus their own ambition for success.
“These athletes are flying the flag for many disabled people and we were thrilled to welcome them to Treloar’s and celebrate their achievements.
“At Treloar’s we want everyone to try hard, and to know that being disabled doesn’t stop you being able to do the things that you can do.
“Not all of us can be champion athletes – in fact very few people can – but everyone can do good things, if you work hard and practice and try, and most importantly enjoy what you are doing.”