Saskia Clark, GB Gold medallist in the 470 Sailing at the Rio Olympics, recently opened the newly-refurbished indoor sports facilities at the Royal Hospital School in Holbrook.
The new facilities include a refurbished sports hall, additional indoor cricket nets as part of the Graham Napier Cricket Academy, strength and conditioning room, fitness suite, martial arts and dance studio and one of the most impressive indoor climbing walls in the region. The school has also been accredited as a NICAS (National Indoor Climbing Achievement Scheme) centre.
Paul Hardman, Director of Sport, said: “This fantastic new development provides superb facilities for a wide range of abilities, a first-class environment to develop high level sporting potential and access to variety of sports from martial arts to climbing and yoga to basketball.”
Saskia, originally from Essex, is now based in Weymouth but continues to have strong links with her childhood sailing club on Mersea Island and is well-known to many of the Royal Hospital School parents and pupils who sail there.
After unveiling a plaque to commemorate the occasion, Saskia spoke to the 750 pupils and 200 staff about her Olympic experiences, the importance of a healthy body and healthy mind and having the determination and commitment to get to the top. Sailing scholars had the opportunity to ask questions which ranged from nutrition advice to technical tips as well as try on her gold medal.
Saskia then visited the school’s youngest sailors at neighbouring Alton Water reservoir who were taking part in the School’s Year 7 Sailing Week, during which they learn the basics of sailing and work towards their RYA Level 2 qualification.
Andy Nutton, Director of Sailing, said: “it was wonderful that Saskia took the time to come and see our youngest sailors on the water providing some words of wisdom and inspiration. Whilst neighbouring Alton Water Reservoir is the natural home for RHS sailors, the team squads and those competing in national and international fleets and following the Olympic Pathway will be using the new indoor sports facilities for strength and conditioning, fitness and yoga on a regular basis.”