We were delighted to be joined by Olympic Gold and Bronze medalist Helen Richardson-Walsh for a few hours on Tuesday afternoon.

As part of our friendship with Gray Nicholls, Helen visited the school to meet with the senior girls’ hockey teams down on our astro. An informal chat took place, with our girls sharing their love of hockey and Helen encouraging them to join up to one of our local clubs to play as much hockey as they can. Helen then kindly signed the girls’ sticks which we are sure will give them an extra bit of magic in their next matches.

The prep school then got assembled in the Chaplin Theatre, where Helen talked to the children about the work required to get to the high level that she had achieved.

The children were asked if they would like to hold her Olympic medals and unsurprisingly the whole audience was very keen! The medals were passed around with awe, and a few children managed to sneak them around their necks.  We hope it was a taste for things to come!

Vinehall staff were hugely impressed by the pupils’ insightful questions, which  generated some interesting and thought-provoking responses.  Included in these were “is it really hard to be really good?”, “Did you always get on with your team mates?” and “What is your favourite sport?”  This caused great amusement when Helen confirmed that even including hockey, her favourite sport was cricket!

Thank you Helen for your time. The children loved meeting you and hearing all about the hard work and determination needed to be the best in the world.