Fresh off the plane from the Rio Olympics, we were delighted to welcome GB and England Women’s Rugby Sevens Strength and Conditioning coach and former Head Girl Katie James as guest of honour at our annual speech day.
Katie spoke about the highs and lows of the team’s experience in the first ever Olympic Rugby Sevens. Having successfully reached the semi-finals, Team GB lost to Silver medallists New Zealand before going down fighting in the Bronze medal play-off against Canada.
Katie said: “It’s every athlete’s dream to compete at the Olympics. I shared that dream too and as part of the Team GB coaching set-up I was privileged to travel to Rio. We achieved great success and the squad did themselves proud, despite the disappointment of losing out in the medals. But the teamwork and resilience of the players was exemplary.
“It’s a surreal experience returning to my lovely old school as guest of honour at speech day. As a student I remember speech day being one of the highlights of the year, with parents, teachers and governors all attending. I can’t quite believe I’m now the guest!
“My time at school was fantastic and the experience and education I received has really helped me get where I am today as an elite sport’s coach. My job is doing what I love and I hope I inspire others because anything’s achievable if you focus on your ambitions.”
Headmaster, Tom Brooksby said: “Katie is a wonderful ambassador for Ockbrook and we are delighted to invite her back. The successes of team GB in Rio is still very topical and so students were more than eager to hear her journey from leaving school to being involved in the recent Olympics. It may have even inspired sporting stars of the future.”