Never give up and always strive to improve was the message to students of St Mary’s School, Colchester, when Olympic Badminton star Gail Emms MBE spoke at the school’s annual Sports Awards Evening on 11 July.
Gail, silver medallist at the Athens Olympic Games in 2004 and gold medallist at the World Championships in 2006, gave an inspiring and humorous speech about her journey to the pinnacle of world badminton.
“I’ve won a lot of matches and I’ve also lost a lot,” she told girls aged nine to 15 at the event, which recognised the year’s sporting success of teams and individuals at the school.
“The important thing is to use every experience as an opportunity to improve. Your teachers tell me that you put a lot of effort into your sport here at the school and that you have had great success in competition – keep it up!”
The coaches of the school’s sports teams and year groups then gave a round-up of the year’s sporting events and awards were presented to students for achievement in competitions and fixtures as well as PE lessons, in categories including Team Spirit, Players’ Player, Team of the Year and Sports Personality of the Year.
St Mary’s sports teams this year won the year eight district basketball competition, while years nine and 10 reached the semi-finals; students achieved first, second and third places in district swimming; the year nine and 10 rounders teams reached the semi-finals; year eight won the district netball competition, year nine reached the semi-finals, while year 10 won the Under-16 B league; and year sevens won the North East Essex School Sport Association cross-country competition.