Paralympian tells pupils dreams can come true
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.”