We were extremely proud to welcome double Olympic Gold winning medallist, Dame Kelly Holmes, to school on Saturday to deliver a unique lesson in resilience and hard work.

Dame Kelly Holmes was the special guest speaker at the annual Speech and Prize Giving day that saw the former Olympian turned businesswoman deliver a rousing and often moving speech to nearly 800 staff, parents and pupils.

The Athens 2004 Olympic champion visited as part of the yearly celebrations that also saw the school’s Head Boys and Girls deliver speeches alongside Dame Kelly, Headmistress Amanda Kirby and Chair of Governors, Sir Thomas Ingilby.

Dame Kelly spoke with passion about the need for every child to be inspired and cited her former PE teacher, Debbie Page, as her biggest influence, adding: “She was someone who really believed in me.”

Alongside the highs of winning two Gold medals at the Athens Olympics in 2004, Dame Kelly told the audience that hard work, commitment and resilience were essential to achieving their goals.

Looking back on her comeback from injury before scaling the heights of double Olympic Gold, Dame Kelly said: “We can all achieve something. Even if we believe we can’t, we actually can.”

Alongside the inspirational speech from Dame Kelly, four Head Boys and Girls had the chance to reminisce on their time at the school including the many trips up and down the country and overseas alongside some of the school’s more unique pursuits such as the annual ‘Go-Kart race’ or the ‘Trebuchet Challenge’.

The annual prize giving ceremony was another highlight of the day with a series of awards handed out for excellence, effort and achievement across the school year.

Headmistress, Amanda Kirby, said: “The day was a superb celebration of all things Cundall. We were extremely proud to welcome Dame Kelly to Cundall and to show her some of the amazing things that happen throughout the year.”

Mrs Kirby added: “Her inspirational story was really well received by pupils, parents and staff alike. The messages of hard work and resilience are attributes we certainly encourage in our pupils.”

A collection for the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust raised over £1000 for the charity set up by the athlete in 2008 to empower young athletes to have a positive impact in their community and beyond.