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On Wednesday 7 June the students of Marling School were visited by Paralympic Silver medallist Mel Clarke. In partnership with Sky Sports Living Mel got in contact with Marling so that she could visit during her recovery from her recent operation on her arm. Mel gave 4 presentations to the 4 remaining years of the secondary school and kept the students interacted and intrigued all the way through.

Her presentation started by explaining about the accident that made her lose the ability to use her legs and how she was in her first wheelchair at the age of 13, being told during her sports lesson all she would do is get in the way and was forced to sit in a corner. Her story told how she went from a girl with no interest in sports to a woman setting 6 records in Archery by 2006, and how despite all the odds she continued shooting after her fight against Lyme disease which made her blind in her shooting eye, have less control of her left arm and left her paralysed from the waist down.

Mel taught the students that through life they will get knocked down but they have to get back up and keep going. She reassured students that not knowing what you want to do with your life is not a bad thing and that you will eventually figure it out but you can’t give up, “to achieve what you want your first step is believing in yourself.”

Near to the end of the presentation the students got to pass around her Silver medal as well as her Olympic Torch both from the London 2012 Games. One of the Year 8 students said that “it is amazing how no matter what came in her way all she needed was self-belief, motivation and one person to help her achieve her dreams”. After the presentation Mel was asked “what made you want to partner up with Sky Living and keep doing visits like this one?” She replied saying “I used to work in a school and I know how effective these presentations can be. Even if this presentation only inspires 1 student out of 500 it will all be worth the effort”. Mark Nicolson the Head of PE at Marling School commented saying, “we appreciate all of the time and effort Mel has put into visiting our students, first we had the Archery Classes followed by this event, we couldn’t ask for more. We look forward to seeing Mel again in the near future."

Josh Holme

 
Marling
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