Deputy head’s big leap

Kent College Pembury’s deputy head Tony Kirk-Burgess wows students by parachute jumping over school grounds

Senior school deputy head Tony Kirk-Burgess flew the Kent College flag home recently by parachute jumping in front of his pupils and colleges. To launch the school’s Fit for Life Appeal for new sporting facilities on their site in Pembury, a whole week of Sports Festival celebrations were lined up for their girls, running from Monday 12 – Friday 16 May.

The experienced Mr Kirk-Burgess kick-started the week by flying to an altitude of 2500 feet before jumping out of a Britten-Norman Islander with five other members of the Skydive Headcorn display team. Mr Kirk-Burgess and his team were cheered on by 800 people, all 650 Preparatory and Seniors pupils and Kent College’s 150 staff members.

Mr Kirk-Burgess has been skydiving for almost ten years and has amassed over 1800 jumps. Afterwards he said: “That was one of my most memorable jumps. The views of the school grounds were breath taking and it was exhilarating to hear the cheers from the girls as I came in to land. What a way to travel to work in the morning!”

“It was really fun and the rainbow parachute was my favourite. Mr Kirk Burgess was great and I liked his flag,” said Lauren from Year 2.

The rest of the Sports Festival saw a whole school giant outdoor Zumba class, and pupils had the opportunity to pledge their own sporting challenges.

Inspirational sporting champions are supporting the appeal. Olympic Silver medallist and British badminton player, Gail Emms MBE joined the students on May 14 for a badminton workshop and to talk about her successful career. On May 15 the girls were joined by Bonita Norris, the youngest person to have stood at both ‘tops of the world’, for an interactive climbing workshop and presentation. British Lions and Welsh rugby legend Gareth Thomas, who played professional rugby for 12 years, visited the school on May 16.

Construction for the sporting development will begin in July 2014 with completion anticipated for the academic year 2015/2016.

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