Olympic bronze medallist, Marilyn Okoro, presented the medals to the winners of events at Wood Green Sports Day on Friday. As well as presenting the medals, she took time to give short workshops to young athletes at the school about how to become a world-class athlete and mingled with the students watching the wide range of athletics events taking place.
Marilyn Okoro presenting a medal to one of the event winners, Maisy Brocklebank.
Jess Pickering was one of those young athletes. She said ‘I’d like to be an athlete when I’m older so it was great to find out what you have to do to compete at the top level. Marilyn was really genuine and kind, but also really honest about how hard you have to work to get to the top. I found her really inspirational’.
Another young athlete inspired by the Olympian’s visit was Luke Zaheer. ‘It was a really great experience meeting Marilyn. She taught me a lot about how to improve and gave me some excellent advice. She was a lovely person, really warm and helpful.’
Marilyn Okoro pictured with the victorious house captains (left to right): Maddie Squire, Sam Clarke, Erin Nicholson, Jamie Christie, Chaselea Gatt and Jack Hamilton.
Sports day was the culmination of a week of summer games where students in the lower school competed against each other in a variety of sports in inter house competitions where virtually every student in the school took part in an event. Head of PE, Simon Burge said ‘It was a real privilege to have Marilyn visit us today, and a great way to finish a fantastic week of competitive inter-house sport. The students were really inspired by her visit and thrilled to meet an Olympic medallist in the flesh. She is a fantastic role model for any of our young athletes.’
Before presenting the medals to the winners of events on the day, Marilyn addressed the whole school and was cheered by all the students when she explained how she would finally be getting her bronze medal at the Diamond League meeting in London the next day, 10 years after the race, following the disqualification of two teams for drug offences. The athlete tweeted her thanks to the school later on Friday. ‘Thank you so much for having me today! I was made to feel so special. Your support means a lot! Makes every tough training session and every setback absolutely worth it! Amazing school with incredible students and staff!’