Sir Ben Ainslie On Dedication, Hard Work & Friendship
We were honoured to welcome Sir Ben Ainslie CBE as our guest speaker, and his wife Georgie, at this year’s Speech Day. The most successful sailor in Olympic history joined our Year 8 Leavers to mark the end of their Heath Mount journey, handing out not only a multitude of cups and prizes but also valuable advice too.
“If at 12 or 13 someone said to me that I would go to the Olympics, the America’s Club and develop businesses around sport, I wouldn’t have dreamt that” he told the children and their families. His success, he explained, was the result of “a passion for something, a love for sport, a lot of hard work and a lot of support.”
Sir Ben told our Leavers all about his journey from a young amateur sailor to Olympian, describing the turning point moments in his formative years that made him the sportsman he is today. He emphasised the need for pupils to embrace opportunities and make the most of the support given to them by teachers, coaches, parents and friends. Friendships, in particular, he noted, are of the greatest importance. "Those relationships will be pivotal to how you develop as a person and the opportunities you will have,” he said. He gave the children three golden pieces of advice to keep them on course for a bright future: “Find something that you love, work really hard and make lots of friends. If you can do that, you will have fantastic lives ahead of you.”
Pictured below: Headmaster Chris Gillam with Sir Ben Ainslie and Chair of Governors, Juliette Hodson