Par­a­lympian tells pupils dreams can come true

Macclesfield Express - - SCHOOLS NEWS -

PUPILS were given some in­spi­ra­tional tips when a Par­a­lympic gold medal­list paid them a visit.

In­fant and ju­nior stu­dents at King’s School got up close to a Par­a­lympic medal when Han­nah Rus­sell brought in her two golds and a bronze from the Rio Games.

The 20-year-old Sal­ford Univer­sity stu­dent has been vis­ually im­paired since birth and is only able to see a max­i­mum of two me­tres.

Her dreams came true when she set a new world record in the 100m S12 freestyle.

She said: “It was a sur­real mo­ment know­ing all the work you had done had paid off and that you could re­pay all the sup­port you had been given from fam­ily, friends and coaches.

“It’s not about your dis­abil­i­ties, not about what you can’t do, it’s about your abil­i­ties, it’s about what you can do.

“My favourite motto is ‘If you be­lieve... you can’ and that’s how I have al­ways lived my life and what I rec­om­mend to all of you. Have be­lief in your­self and your dreams can come true.

“I was in­spired by my he­roes Re­becca Adling­ton and El­lie Sim­monds and I now want to in­spire young­sters just like you, what­ever your gifts and your tal­ents.”

She started train­ing at the age of five at her home pool in Wok­ing and com­bines a 26-hours-aweek pool and gym train­ing regime with study­ing sports sci­ence.

King’s In­fant and Ju­nior Di­vi­sion prin­ci­pal Caro­line Hul­meMcKib­bin said: “Han­nah has an in­fec­tious smile and won­der­fully en­gag­ing, friendly per­son­al­ity that our pupils warmed to im­me­di­ately, but they also un­der­stood that be­hind her suc­cess is a steely de­ter­mi­na­tion and fierce will to win.

“She re­ally is the very best of Bri­tish.”

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