Olympic golden girl Helena Lucas sends powerful message to Portland schoolchildren (From Dorset Echo)
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Olympic golden girl Helena Lucas sends powerful message to Portland schoolchildren
‘YOU can achieve your dreams’ – that was the message to Portland schoolchildren from Paralympic gold medallist Helena Lucas.
The Fortuneswell resident went to St George’s School to talk to pupils about her experience on the road to the London 2012 Games and what it felt like to be a gold medal winner.
The students were able to ask her questions and see pictures from last summer.
She also presented the Olympic ambassadors with RYA sailing certificates they had achieved at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy with the school.
Helena also presented gold stars to those older students who had helped out those starting sailing and signed autographs.
Helena said: “It makes me feel so good to tell them about my experience and hopefully inspire them and see them get excited about it.
“If they want to, they can do it too.”
She added: “It’s not just about sport. It’s about having a dream and trying to achieve it. Your dream can be anything. It’s not just getting gold.
“Everyone has a dream and it’s about doing what you can to achieve your dream.”
Helena spoke to the students about her road to the Paralympics.
She said: “It had been my dream to win a gold medal since I was six.”
To start with though, Helena said she didn’t enjoy sailing until the age of about 10, and then she got into it and started racing at the age of 12.
She told students that she started off, like they had, on the RYA scheme and worked up though the different levels.
The Paralympics was an ‘amazing experience and a great week of racing and competing’.
She told the students: “I just feel really privileged to have won the gold and to have been part of the British team.”
She added that she didn’t think the feeling of winning gold would ‘ever really sink in’ and that the summer’s events felt a little ‘surreal.’ Members of the school council asked Helena questions about how she got into the sport.
One asked her if she got nervous during the Games.
Helena said when she got nervous she would look at Portland and think to herself – ‘it’s home, I live here. There’s nothing to be nervous about’.
She added: “That really helped me.”
Q&As for sailor
What the chidren asked her:
If you got to choose another sport what would it be?
I love my cycling
How many times have you capsized? Quite a lot
Who is your favourite athlete apart from you? Usain Bolt
Head heaps praise
HEADTEACHER Jo Luxon said that it was an honour and pleasure to have the gold medallist visit the school.
She said that the amenities left by the Olympic legacy had given the children a fantastic opportunity.
She added that as a school they had embraced all opportunities fully and would continue to do so in the future.