Monday, 14 January 2013

Going for Gold - St Philip Howard Catholic High School


Olympian Gold Medalist Sophie Christiansen with Head of St Philip Howard's, David Carter
Students were honoured to receive their GCSE and GCE certificates from an Olympic heroine at their recent presentation evening. Sophie Christiansen, MBE, who has achieved 5 Olympic medals at the Paralympic Games, 3 of them in London this summer, congratulated the students, who had achieved excellent GCSE and A Level results, many at A* or A grades. Prize winners included Samuel Theodoridi, for social awareness, David Simmonds, for endeavour, Lucy Brookes for public speaking, Catherine Hawkins for her contribution to the school community and James Turner for achievement in Mathematics. The Thorpe Justice prizes for students of law went to Joshua Weston, James Turner and Samuel Foster.
Sophie, who has never allowed cerebral palsy to interfere with her drive to succeed, gave a moving speech about her own road to success. Having started riding at age 6, she went on to compete in dressage competitions nationally and internationally including European and World Championships. Not only has she achieved phenomenal success with her sport, she is also a graduate of a top London university in Mathematics.

Sophie spoke to the students about how she worked hard to fulfil her dreams, overcoming setbacks and learning how to deal with the stress of preparing for the Olympics. Her message to the students was also about recognising the important contribution made by other people in allowing our dreams to be realised; she encouraged the students to remember the role played by their families and members of the school staff.

Headteacher, David Carter commented “Sophie’s attitude, determination and desire to succeed is an example to us all. She has a no-nonsense, no excuses, upbeat mentality which is totally inspiring. Like we do at SPH, she sets her sights high and never gives up in aspiring to be the very best she can be. There were many gold-winning performances from our students in the exams over the summer and we were delighted to host Sophie, one of our country’s most successful Paralympians ever”.

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