Pupils at Abbey Gate College have received athletic advice from the top.

The gifted and talented sportsmen and women listened to the legendary British Olympian runner, Derek Redmond.

Derek led two one hour presentations, reflecting on his career at the top level, focusing on how he overcame injury and being told he would never represent his country at athletics again.

He told a gripping story recalling his time at the 1991 World Championships when the British team shocked the athletics world by beating the much favoured American  team into second place to claim the gold medal in the 4x400 relay. His  story, focusing on self-belief and the belief of his team mates, left the  pupils feeling they could achieve anything.

The students listened intently as he then went on to discuss his summer Olympic nightmare when in the Olympic semi-final his hamstring snapped with 250m left to go. He shared with the pupils his experience of being told he’d never represent his country again and the  heartbreak that came with it. It was  this that spurred him on to prove the  surgeons wrong and he has since  gone on to represent his country in basketball and been successful with rugby.

PE teacher, Miss Jo Hearty, said  “The PE department at Abbey Gate College believe that it is incredibly important to support and inspire our most talented athletes in school and  that supporting and celebrating their  successes encourages them to strive to achieve even more.

“The college currently boasts county and national athletes in a range of disciplines – from skiing, athletics and equestrianism to netball, sailing, gymnastics and football and our future plans are to build upon the foundations put in place  today and continue to assist with the development of well-rounded elite athletes; they are after all, our sporting future.”