Paralympic medallist Elizabeth Wright inspires Bradford Academy students

On Thursday 5th March, Bradford Academy was visited by Paralympic medallist Elizabeth Wright, who delivered an inspirational and motivational assembly to Year 9 students and a character building workshop to selected students across Years 9-13.

Elizabeth used her own journey to Paralympic success and experience of studying at University to demonstrate that anything is achievable! As one Year 9 student commented in the activity feedback, “Don’t stop chasing your dreams, even if your parents doubt you”.

Bradford Academy students were engrossed in Elizabeth’s talk, in particular her detailed stories of the individual swimming races in which she won Bronze and Gold medals during the 2000 Sydney Paralympics. Both staff and students praised Elizabeth’s talk as “inspirational” and “enjoyable”. Some key messages from watching the videos that students reflected on were ‘don’t get too confident’ and ‘expect the unexpected’, as Elizabeth recalled key moments from some of her most memorable swimming races. Bradford Academy staff praised Elizabeth’s strong and confident personality, with one staff member saying,“ I would recommend this again as it was a thought provoking, entertaining assembly that captured the listeners attention”.

Selected students from Years 9-13 then enjoyed a more focused workshop themed around character building. Elizabeth asked students to think about what characteristics they thought they already had, and which they wished they had more of. Students then worked on ideas of how they can set goals to achieve those characteristics. A key message was that the characteristics all the students mentioned were common across all people of all ethnicities, nationalities and abilities (able bodied or not!) as one of the students commented, “what makes us human are our characteristics”. Students also practiced using the ‘W.O.O.P’ method for goal setting making notes of a ‘wish, ‘outcome’, ‘obstacle’ and then finally making a ‘plan’.

At the end of the day, 100% of staff and students felt Elizabeth was an inspiring and positive role model. Students from all backgrounds and abilities connected with Elizabeth’s story and were able to use her story to help them consider and plan their own successful future education and career paths.

Farhana Mulla, Bradford Academy