There was great excitement at Bishop Thomas Grant School as Paralympian David Weir visited the school to talk about his multiple achievements both at the Olympics and in championships around the world over the last 15 years.
The visit came about as a result of a lucky competition win by PE teacher Ms Burke – “I was looking for PE resources on-line and was invited to take part in a competition to win a visit to my school from a Paralympian – low and behold I then had a phone call to say I’d won and we were asked if we’d like to host a visit from David Weir – I said “yes” instantly!”
In a question and answer session in front of the school’s top budding athletes David Weir spoke not only of his successes but of his disappointment in the 2016 Rio Paralympics where he came away without a medal – “This spurred me on to win this year’s London Marathon” he explained (which he won in a record time.) “Competing in the 2012 Paralympics and winning 4 medals was the best feeling in the world, and my proudest moment was meeting the Queen”. When asked if he ever gets nervous David spoke of how it’s a good feeling and without it he’d not be able to perform so well – also the noise from supporting spectators in the stadiums (particularly at London 2012) has helped him to victory.
Students learnt interesting facts about his training regime – heat chamber training for hot climates and altitude training to prime his body before a competition, as well as a controlled diet (supplemented by beetroot juice!) – David did however confess to the occasional hamburger.
David admitted not to having been the model student at school, but encouraged his audience to go out and be themselves in their sport – “Enjoy it – don’t be put under pressure by others and don’t take it too seriously”.