Paralympian and World Rowing Champion, Pamela Relph MBE, visited GCSE students at The Warriner School in Bloxham on Friday 7 April. The event was hosted through the Enterprise Advisor Networks, a national initiative that is being delivered across the region by Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP).
The Warriner School is one of many Oxfordshire schools signed up to the national Careers and Enterprise Company’s Enterprise Adviser Network. The programme aims to inspire and prepare young people for the fast-changing world of work.
Pamela spoke to students about peak personal performance in order to motivate and inspire them before they embark on their GCSEs. Pamela is a two-time Paralympic Champion and four-time World Champion in rowing, having won gold at both the London and Rio Paralympic Games, making her the only current international para-rower to be a double Paralympic Champion.
Commenting on her visit to The Warriner, Pamela said: “I am grateful to the Warriner School for having me in to speak to the year 11 students. I am very proud of what I have achieved both in sport and in my education and I wanted to share some of my experience of overcoming setbacks and always demanding the best from yourself.”
Sponsoring the event are local businesses Whitley Stimpson and Spratt Endicott, who talked to the students about the opportunities in their organisations for work experience and future careers.
Jonathan Walton, Managing Director of Whitley Stimpson, chartered accountants and business advisors, says: “Caring for and supporting the communities we live in is very important to us at Whitley Stimpson, we are committed to giving back and have always believed that we can balance profitability and a social conscience. As specialists in the field of education and with our commitment to culture in the community, sponsoring events like this provides us with the perfect opportunity to demonstrate this. Inspiring GCSE students to greater exam success is a fantastic initiative that we were very pleased to play a part in.”
John Spratt, Chairman of Spratt Endicott Solicitors, commented: “Our business likes to encourage the pursuit of excellence, whether that is achieved through sport, education or work. I was proud to be part of this event, and am certain Pamela inspired us all as we learned more about her outstanding achievements.”
Nigel Smith, Careers Lead at The Warriner, said: “We place an extremely high value on the support that we receive from the business community to motivate our students. It is vital that they get a really positive message just prior to the exam season to inspire them to achieve their full potential”.
Through the Enterprise Adviser Network, secondary schools are matched with a volunteer from a local business. The Network is based on evidence that if young people have multiple, high-quality experiences of the world of work, they are more likely to find employment and on average will earn 18% more during their career. These encounters with business boost the prospects of young people and the performance of the economy.