London 2012 figurehead inspires next generation

The woman credited with masterminding Team GB’s record medal haul gives career advice to Bedford Girls’ School pupils

Speaking at the school’s annual Prize Giving event, which celebrates those girls who have gone above and beyond during the past academic year, Baroness Sue Campbell CBE urged girls at a packed Corn Exchange that there will be no substitute for hard work in the futures they decided to pursue.

“Any goal or dream is achievable but having the talent to get there is only half the battle,” said the former Chair of UK Sport, who also trained as a PE teacher at the Bedford College of Physical Education and Dame Alice Harpur School.

“Hard work and commitment go hand in hand. Dame Kelly Holmes had all the talent in the world but she also had to put in the hard work, and be mentally strong, in order to overcome all those injuries she suffered and achieve her dream of Olympic Gold. Even the top athletes have to overcome adversity.”

Baroness Campbell also spoke of the acronym CARE – Creativity, Aspiration, Resilience and Empathy – as a guided principle for life.

Miss Jo MacKenzie, Bedford Girls’ School Headmistress, added: “Prize Giving was a truly fitting note to end the year on. We were honoured to have Baroness Sue Campbell CBE as guest speaker, who inspired the girls with her words, which really reflect the core values of education at Bedford Girls’ School. This is someone who provided the strategy behind the British athletes’ spectacular performance at the 2012 Games, so it’s hard not to be in awe of her.”

With the evening consisting of a number of speeches, performances and awarding of prizes across a range of subjects, Upper Sixth student Chantal Duchenne walked away with the main gong of the evening, the School Dux, which is given for outstanding academic achievement.

Miss MacKenzie concluded: “Many congratulations must go to all our prize winners. I know how hard they’ve all worked and they’re a credit to the school.”

Photo: (Bottom row, left to right) Kate Long (Deputy Head Girl, Operations), Baroness Sue Campbell CBE, Chantal Duchenne, Bethany Guerin (Deputy Head Girl, Internal Relations), Miss Jo MacKenzie, (top, left to right) Juliet Allen (outgoing Head Girl) and Ellen Lovell (Head Girl)    

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