Paralympic gold medallist Lauren Steadman, from Portsmouth, shared the tears and joys of training with a group of youngsters during their school assembly.
Just back from Tokyo 2020, the city’s golden girl was welcomed to Portsmouth High Prep School on her first school stop.
It was her first school visit in two years.
Lauren has competed in four summer Paralympics in both swimming and paratriathlon.
She said: ‘I have spent many years of going to bed early, rising at 4.30am for training, a strict diet and being driven by my dream to win a gold medal.
‘Mental resilience and determination are vital ingredients for success, if you aren’t good enough at first, keep trying and you will succeed.’
Lauren competed in Beijing 2008 and London 2012 as a swimmer before switching to the paratriathlon for Rio in 2016, where she won a silver medal. She took gold at Tokyo 2020.
Speaking to pupils at Portsmouth High Prep School, Lauren’s message was particularly relevant at the morning assembly, which was led by Year 2 sharing their own personal experiences of failing and not being afraid to keep on trying until they met with success.
Lauren said: ‘It is an absolute pleasure to visit the prep school today to share how I achieved my Olympic success.
‘It is so important to keep on trying and be resilient when things don’t go according to plan, whatever goal you are trying to reach.
‘It has been a joy to see the delight on the girls’ faces at seeing a gold medal and I hope I have inspired them to follow their dreams, whatever it takes.’