What a summer!

What a summer this has been. A summer of amazing sport for a start. Olympics 2020 happened in Tokyo after a long extra wait for the athletes, and then the Paralympics. Their inspirational nature is astounding. Human strength going to lengths we would not believe possible unless we saw it with our own eyes in real time.

Then we saw, just this last week, Emma Raducanu storm her way to a win in the US Open Singles final. She did not drop a single set all the way through the tournament. At 18 years old. Just after completing her A levels. Getting an A* in maths no less. It boggles the mind.
Through all the jokes on Twitter and Facebook about what the rest of us were doing in the months after our A level exams, none of us were winning a Grand Slam!

What does it take to have that level of determination and strength? What are the conditions which make our young people so capable? We keep hearing in the media that they are glued to screens or hanging around terrorising pensioners in parks. But are they? Are we just hearing more about it due to social media, when actually they are no more likely to be rude or watching TV than many of the generations that came before them, in their own way?

Because for all the talk in the media of these coming generations I keep seeing teenagers winning sports at international levels, and I just don’t think they can be the absolute minority. They may be the minority who succeeds on a global scale. But I know that many of my son’s friends are just as into football and becoming sports people as the David Beckham’s of the past.

There are teens everywhere who want a drive for something. Whether sports, computing, entrepreneurship, becoming authors, or absorbing scientific study. They do want that drive to succeed, and they do want to see what could be possible if they do follow their dreams. So where do they get the inspiration to follow that dream to fruition?

Emma has spoken to the press of the work ethic of her parents and there is a wonderful element of this role modelling from parents and teachers which we can see in the work produced by students at school and at home. To be so focused in one particular sport or endeavour clearly takes huge focus alongside this work ethic. Not everyone will get that, but if the work ethic can be spread across a few interests this also adds up to success in the future for many.

Another element of role modelling comes from seeing the Paralympians, Olympians, and teens such as Raducanu, and indeed Fernandez her (also teen!) worthy opponent, so that students see their potential future.

Where does this relate to your school website? Well, in case you haven’t guessed, we think a school website is the ideal place to showcase role models. From Star of the Week certificates, through to the alumni achieving great things. Not just A level results and GCSEs and SATs pass % for the cohort, but putting a face to individuals. Their stories, their personal reflections, and their images which help a child to look to their future. Do share your success stories with us too – we love to hear about them!

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