Visit from GB Paralympian Ali Jawad

Friday 11th November was an exciting day for Wood Green School.

Culminating in their Year 11 prize-giving in the evening, the afternoon started with a ceremonial opening of their new fitness room, with a little help from their special guest; Team GB star Ali Jawad.

The Paralympic athlete won a silver medal in weight-lifting at the Paralympics in Rio this year and was World Champion in 2014. He has come through much adversity to achieve what he has, including a difficult start in life in war-torn Lebanon and battling Crohn’s disease. Having overcome disappointment in London in 2012, when he controversially missed out on a silver medal and having been told by his doctor never to compete again, Ali never gave up. He is therefore an excellent role model for the school’s values, such as effort and a growth mind-set.

Ali was guest speaker at the Year 11 awards ceremony in the evening but arrived early to deliver a motivational and inspiring talk about his life so far, to selected students and parents.

He then had the important task of cutting the ribbon and declaring Wood Green School’s new fitness suite officially open in a special ceremony, overseen by Mr.Shadbolt, head teacher at Wood Green and Mr.Burge, head of P.E.

Ali Jawad then lent his expert eye to help mentor a fitness session for students who were able to try out the new equipment.

“The new Fitness Suite at Wood Green School is a great facility - The Nuffield Health Wellbeing pilot is also a fantastic way of encouraging the pupils to get more active and the Cybex equipment is fantastic; I only wish I had access to somewhere like this when I was at school!”

(Quote from: Ali Jawad - Rio 2016 Paralympic silver medallist)

All students and staff contributed to raising funds last term via a whole school sponsored walk, to transform a store room into an extension of their current fitness suite. This was to accommodate the generous donation of 6 brand new cardiovascular machines to the school from Cybex UK, in partnership with Nuffield Health, who are helping Wood Green in their wellbeing drive. Mr.Elvins and his site team, along with the P.E. department have worked very hard to get the new fitness room ready for the launch and our special guest.

Mr.Austin,  who is leading the Wellbeing pilot for Nuffield Health in the role of Head of Wellbeing for the school, hopes that the inspirational visit of Ali Jawad combined with the enthusiasm of the P.E. team at Wood Green, who give up their own time to run extra-curricular fitness clubs, will increase physical activity levels throughout the school, in line with the school’s wellbeing focus, this year and beyond.