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“Be the best you can be, whatever you enjoy” - that was the message from Rio 2016 gold medal-winning hockey captain, Kate Richardson-Walsh, five-time Olympian and World champion swimmer, Mark Foster, and former England rugby skipper, Lewis Moody, at Trent's ‘Night of Legends’ charity Sporting Dinner.
Compered by sports broadcaster, Jill Douglas, the celebrated trio offered words of advice which helped them achieve at the very top of their sports, captivating more than 200 pupils and guests gathered for the annual dinner on Thursday 1 February.
Earlier in the day, Richardson-Walsh, who was made an OBE after Team GB’s Rio success, checked out the next generation in action as some 40 young pupils from Trent and The Elms took part in a hockey training session.
With our own girls’ teams excelling in both the National outdoor and indoor finals over the past 12 months, a select group of female students then got the chance to meet and quiz the exceptional sportswoman they are all inspired by.
Trent’s rugby players were joined by Nottingham Rugby Academy players to enjoy a Q&A session with 2003 World Cup winner, Lewis Moody, who captained England at the 2011 World Cup and toured New Zealand with the Lions in 2005.
Amongst the dinner guests were a number of our own sports stars, team captains and scholars.
Richardson-Walsh said: “I worked on being the very best I could be and tried to do that every single day. You can’t do more than that, no one will ask any more of you than that. Whatever it is be the very best you can be at that.”
Moody agreed: “The reason we all started and the reason we succeeded is because we did something we enjoyed. Too often today kids are pushed in various different directions. If you enjoy something, and want to commit to it, you’re going to want to give it your all and be the best at it.”
He concluded his talk with a direct message to our pupils: “I wish you guys all the luck in the world, because you’ve got such bright futures ahead of you. Whether it’s sport or academic, whatever it is you go on to do, Trent College is a wonderful place to start that journey. I’m sure the teachers you have are very proud of all of you. It’s a pleasure being here, thank you.”
All proceeds from this year’s dinner went to Trent College’s Kenyan Schools Partnership and the Trent College Foundation. The event was sponsored by Land Rover, along with partners Wrights specialist roofing contractors, Skills Group, DFS and Thorntons.
Since 2004 the Trent College community, including The Elms and TPA, has raised over £20,000 to support education and infrastructure projects in two rural schools in Kenya. The Trent College Foundation provides a source of funding for bursaries to widen student access, to help support a number of the School’s capital projects and to directly support a range of teaching and learning projects and extra-curricular activities.
Foster added: “Whatever you do with sport, with school, with life, commit to it. Don’t be afraid of failure. You never actually fail, you learn from it and move on. Sport is very good for teaching you that.”