Southport School Stanley High puts the spotlight on sport with two VIP guests


Stanley High School in Southport turned the spotlight on the value of sport in education with the help of two VIP guests this week.

Top paralympic cyclist Rik Waddon and Southport MP John Pugh joined forces to show how participation in sport can help to teach young people valuable life skills.

Rik was at Stanley to spend a day mentoring a group of 20 year 8 and 9 students as part of the Sky Sports Living For Sport programme.

Mr Pugh visited the Fleetwood Road school to learn more about the Sky initiative and the wider work done in the local community by Stanley’s School Games Co-ordinator, Mike Smethurst,

The Liberal Democrat MP watched Rik working with the students who are either ‘gifted and talented’ at sport or have excelled at sports leadership.

He saw the Paralympics double silver medal winner highlight the six keys to success which are mental toughness, a hunger to achieve, people skills, sport and life knowledge, breaking barriers and planning for success.

Meanwhile, The Road Safety and Travel Awareness team within Sefton Council was also involved in the day by providing its indoor stationery bikes which gave the students an insight into some of the practical training that Rik has to do every day to stay out in front in his chosen sport.

Stanley High’s Mike Smethurst commented: “We’re very grateful to Rik Waddon and to John Pugh for coming to Stanley and giving us the benefit of their experience.

“Rik’s mentoring has really inspired the students he worked with, demonstrating once again that sport is a powerful tool that can be used to develop valuable skills that young people can use in their day-to-day lives.

“The visit also enabled us to highlight to Mr Pugh the importance of partnership working at an event like this with Sefton Council, Sky Sports and myself working together to provide out students with an exciting and innovative new experience.”

37-year-old, Chester-born Rik Waddon took up cycling at the age of 14 after being inspired by watching the Tour de France on TV.

His main ambition now is to compete at the Rio Olympics in 2016, and go one better than in 2008 and 2012 by winning gold in the road time trial discipline.


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