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James Cracknell meets Bournemouth's future sports stars
2:00pm Friday 21st September 2012 in News
A DOUBLE Olympic gold medallist inspired students when he visited a school in Southbourne yesterday to open their new sports facility.
Former rower James Cracknell, who won a gold medal at both the 2000 Sydney Olympics and the 2004 Athens Olympics , went to Bournemouth Collegiate School to open their new High Performance Sports Centre, and give a talk to students.
He passed the medals around for the pupils to hold and spoke of his time in training for both of the events and the mentality needed to become an Olympic sport star.
He said: “The key to anyone’s success is that you may feel that you’re at one level, but don’t try and take one big jump to where you want to be. Instead, plot little steps to get on the right path.”
In the true Olympic spirit, he also watched as both teachers and students took to rowing machines to see if they could beat his record of 500m in 1.13minutes, but in a much shorter 100m challenge.
The time to beat was 15 seconds and Richard Harris-Peel, Head of Sport, was the victor by hitting 16.9 seconds.
Stephen Duckitt, Principal of Bournemouth Collegiate School, said: “It’s not every day that we have somebody with a gold medal or two, or someone that has done such extreme things, in our midst, so I really thank him for coming in.”
He added: “Those who know us, know that some time ago we had a vision to put in a performance centre, to the level that we wanted to compete.”
He added that the centre had been completed in record time, having been started in the summer holidays .
“It’s a fantastic facility and we are very lucky to have it.”
Bernie Shrosebree, a performance coach at the school, was pleased to see the Olympic star, who he had previously coached to success.
He said: “I think it’s a privilege to have the centre, as when I was at school, we didn’t have facilities like this.
“I also think that James gave the most motivational talk here at the school, that I have heard in a long time.”