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Golden start to new school year

Published on 04/09/18

Staff from across the Inspiration Trust were treated to impromptu rowing lessons from an Olympic gold medallist at this year's Welcome Back event.

Anna Watkins, who won gold in the double skulls at the London 2012 Olympics, was guest speaker at the Trust's annual event to kick off the new school year.

The MBE told staff about her journey from state school student to Cambridge maths graduate, and how her university experiences uncovered a hidden talent and passion for rowing.

Mrs Watkins told how she nearly missed out on her medals at both Beijing and London Olympics through illness, but battled through to reach the podium.

Staff also had the chance to get some rowing tips direct from the Olympian, thanks to a rowing machine set up at the event at St Andrew's Hall in Norwich, with staff competing to get the fastest 100m row.

During the event, around 800 teachers and support staff from the Trust's schools in Cromer, Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft, Norwich, and Thetford also heard from chief executive Dame Rachel de Souza about the group's achievements over the last year and plans for the future.

Dame Rachel paid tribute to outgoing Inspiration Trust trustee Lord Theodore Agnew, now a Government minister, and presented this summer's exam results which included the top place in Norfolk for Hethersett Academy, a near-doubling of results for Great Yarmouth Charter Academy, and across the board increases at the Trust's primary schools.

Developments for the coming months included new sports centres at The Hewett Academy in Norwich and Cromer Academy, and work on new classrooms to allow for growth at Hethersett and Great Yarmouth Charter.

More than two dozen staff were presented with Inspiration Star awards to reflect their commitment and hard work over the previous year.