Olympic medallist Sally Gunnell inspires Norwich pupils to go for gold

Norwich High School for Girls' Putting Girls First Conference.Pictured: Ruth Willmott (Year 10), Luc

Norwich High School for Girls' Putting Girls First Conference.Pictured: Ruth Willmott (Year 10), Lucy-Ann Williams (Sports Captain), Sally Gunnell, Emma Venier (Head Girl), Pollyanna Watson (Year 10). - Credit: submitted

Olympic gold medallist Sally Gunnell inspired girls to go for gold and achieve great things at a special conference in Norwich.

Norwich High School for Girls' Putting Girls First Conference.Pictured is the confernece's sports pa

Norwich High School for Girls' Putting Girls First Conference.Pictured is the confernece's sports panel Debs Smith, Sally Gunnel, Anna Bentley, and Lucy-Ann Williams. - Credit: submitted

The former world champion 400m hurdler was one of the speakers at Norwich High School for Girls' Putting Girls First Conference that took place at the school on Saturday.

She said she thought the conference was a brilliant way to share experiences with the next generation of women to help them succeed in the future.

After giving a talk entitled Going for Gold, she took part in a question- and-answer session with three fellow sports panellists – fencer Anna Bentley who represented Great Britain in London 2012 and who is a former Norwich High pupil, Norwich High's director of sport Debs Smith, and the school's games captain, Lucy-Ann Williams.

Afterwards, she said: 'We come up against so many barriers in life, and the more we can help and pass on what we went through and learnt to help the future generation the better.


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'It's great that the school recognises that and put on a day like this.'

About her talk at the conference, said: 'It was really around positive thinking, often we are the first to put ourselves down. For me in sport it was about learning to override the negative and being strong in your mind in whatever you do.

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'It is a skill in itself to learn give yourself confidence.'

She added: 'It all comes down to one message really – give yourself every opportunity to get out there and achieve.'

Businesswoman and county champion Caroline Jarrold was part of the business leaders' panel with Norwich North MP Chloe Smith, chairman of Norwich Businesswomen's Network's Mary-Jane Kingsland, and Girls' Day Schools Trust's director of people Caroline Hoare.

She said: 'I went to Norwich High and wanted to give something back and help encourage the girls to think about what their options are, and how they can develop interesting careers while also balancing the other things they want to do.'

Games captain Lucy-Ann Williams, and head girl Emma Venier, both of the lower sixth, said they found the Putting Girls First Conference very inspiring and it had encouraged them to make the most of every opportunity.

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