Portsmouth Paralympian hopes to inspire new generation of athletes

PARALYMPIAN Lorraine Lambert has visited Priory School Archery Club to help inspire the next generation of Olympic gold medalists.

Thursday, 13th December 2018, 10:53 am
Updated Wednesday, 9th January 2019, 8:24 am
Lorraine Lambert with the group of pupils at Priory School Picture: Malcolm Wells (181212-0858)

Lorraine's visit and the archery initiative has been set up by Active Communities Network '“ a national sport for development charity who encourage the personal and social development of young people.

During the visit, Lorraine spoke to students about her own journey in the face of adversity after having her leg amputated in 2010 after a climbing accident.

'˜I really enjoyed speaking to students and as a Paralympic athlete I see it as my duty to help encourage and inspire people to take part in sport and reach their potential,' explained Lorraine.

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Lorraine Lambert with Lucy Piper, 11, and Ben Mansfield, 12 Picture: Malcolm Wells (181212-0848)

Lorraine spoke to students about overcoming the disappointment of not qualifying for London 2012 and her determination to pursue her dream by qualifying for Rio 2016.

Year 8 student, Netra Nivate, 13, said: '˜Listening to the talk was really inspirational. The key message for me was to always keep going and never give up.'

The archery club is part of the charity's initiative to deliver a range of exciting new sports across the city with opportunities for rewards, trips and visits from professional athletes.

ACN programme manager Charlotte Bishop said: '˜It is massively important to offer a diverse range of activities which are not easily accessible. Over 250 local young people were consulted on what activities they'd like to try and archery was incredibly popular.'

Lorraine Lambert with Year 8 student, Netra Nivate Picture: Malcolm Wells (181212-0877)

A key focus is to provide young people with the opportunity to excel in sports outside the traditional mainstream.

Physical education teacher Jen Jordan said: '˜It is really important to provide an opportunity to take part in sports which are not part of the curriculum. The archery club has given students the chance to access a sport they wouldn't normally be able to.'

'˜The traditional sports are not for everyone and so it is great for children to be exposed to minority sports. We could have the next potential Great British archery medallist here today but they would never know if they had the talent if they didn't get the opportunity to try it,' added Lorraine. 

The archery club, which has been running for six weeks, will see 100 children at Priory School try the sport.

Year 7 student, Freddie Marshman, 12, said: '˜All the archery sessions have been really fun and I hope to continue with the sport. It would be amazing to one day compete in the Olympics.'

Assistant headteacher, Emma Williams, said: '˜We were delighted to welcome Lorraine. It was a fantastic opportunity to expose our students to such an inspirational figure.'