Karen Pickering MBE, World Champion and Olympic swimmer, launched Woldingham School’s Sports Awards on Friday 22nd April. The ceremony celebrated the achievements, commitment and team spirit of all of Woldingham’s athletes. Karen spoke to a packed audience about her 20 year international career during which she won 35 major championship medals, 38 national titles and was four times World Champion, broke two World Records and competed at four consecutive Olympic Games. These achievements, Karen explained, were the result of sheer determination, work ethic and a love of the water. Raw talent, Karen believes, is a head start only and it is commitment and effort that makes the critical difference. The girls and parents were spellbound as she described the mental determination involved in the final leg of the 2002 Commonwealth Games 200m relay against the England team’s arch rival Australian swim team. This was the moment where the hours of training, 900 sit-ups and determination paid off.
Mrs Treacy, Director of Sport, said:
“Our girls’ sporting achievements deserve to be celebrated both for their excellence, with girls representing district, county and the UK, but also for their unfailing commitment and enthusiasm. This is a school where girls play sport because they want to, not because they have to; our athletes are successful because they train, listen and genuinely enjoy being part of a sporting community. Our Sportswoman of the Year, Olivia Foster, has been chosen because whilst achieving national success in her skiing career she has also represented the school at every team sport we play.”
In this academic year Woldingham girls have already achieved the following:
- Over 200 girls have represented the school at hockey, netball, swimming and cross country.
- They have swum 5,400 metres.
- They have run 22,000 metres.
- At competition alone they have spent 8,128 minutes on the pitch or court, scoring 156 hockey goals and 1,509 netball goals.