Headteacher’s blog: the one about Olympic volleyballers

We GC HDM Cropped Sqwere very fortunate to have Olympian Ben Pipes in school last week. Ben was the Great Britain team’s volleyball captain at the London 2012 Olympic Games. He spent the day coaching our boys through various volleyball techniques and skills. As well as inspiring our boys Ben also inspired our PE team who appreciated witnessing, at first hand, the skill level demonstrated by an international athlete. Ben’s personal story is, as ever, not down to some god given talent but due to high levels of commitment, determination and purposeful practice over several years.

This theme, that talent is not something we are born with, but something that arises from the hours of practice and effort we are prepared to put into activities, is one which has been the subject of several assemblies over the last few months; most notably those delivered by Mr Gibson and Mrs Hughes. It is also the subject of Matthew Syed’s excellent book ‘Bounce: the myth of talent and the power of practice’, which is well worth a read if you wish to understand what makes an international performer.

Our boys were all very positive about the sessions that they had with Ben, especially our Y11 GCSE PE group, whom Ben gave a motivational talk to on the eve of their examinations. 

Thank you to our PE team for arranging this visit and for all the other activities that they have put on so far this year.