Friday Headlines

the weekly newsletter from Dr Ruth Weeks, Headmistress

Dame Kelly Holmes Inspires at Girls Go Gold Conference

23 September 2011

On the morning of Wednesday 21 September 2011, approximately six hundred sportswomen from schools across the country descended upon EHS, the proud hosts of this year's GSA 'Girls Go Gold Conference'.

Following Dr Weeks' welcome and introduction, Baroness Sue Campbell, Chair of UK Sport, started proceedings with her keynote speech. She held the room spellbound as she gave an inspiring address on how to achieve, weaving into her talk the words of "If I Can Just Believe in Me", one of two songs performed by the EHS Chamber Choir at the start of the day.

The schedule was busy with a constant roundabout of specialised workshops hosted by professional athletes and experts in sports-related fields, such as 'Sport Psychology in Applied Practice', 'Sport Science' and 'Week in the Life of an Elite Student Athlete'. For those girls wishing or thinking about studying Sport at university, Zena Wooldridge, Director of Sport at University of Birmingham, was on hand to offer guidance and information.

It was a busy morning of activity, building up to the hotly-anticipated arrival of our special Guest Speaker, Dame Kelly Holmes. Dame Kelly arrived to officially open the Holmes Fitness Suite, a brand new addition to the facilities at EHS that will be enjoyed by all senior girls, before proceeding on to make a whistle stop visit to Prep ahead of her speech.

Senior School girls who were not involved in the conference, but who were watching the presentation in the School Hall via a live video feed, were delighted to have an unscheduled 'hello' from Dame Kelly Holmes in person - the cheers and squeals of delight could be heard from the waiting congregation within the Octagon!

The day culminated with Dame Kelly's keynote speech to delegates, weaving clips of her amazing performances at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens into her inspiring speech.

It filled the girls with confidence as she spoke of how her love for sport and athletics all started as a young girl at school and how any of them could one day be like her, too. Dame Kelly was incredibly generous with her time and spent a long time answering questions, signing autographs and posing for photos with the girls - footage of the day even made the ITV Central News.

It was an exciting and motivating day, enjoyed by all. Our thanks go to Mrs Lara Batchelor, Head of PE, who masterminded the whole event and to all staff and pupils at EHS for their support.

A tasty welcome for the delegates!

The conference was opened with songs from the EHS Chamber Choir.

The event gets under way, with Baroness Sue Campbell addressing a full house.

Baroness Sue Campbell and P.E. staff following her opening speech.

Alex McGregor of University of Birmingham delivers a workshop on sport science.

Delegates visit the University Fayre.

Our Fitness Suite was proudly opened by Dame Kelly Holmes.

Dame Kelly took time to talk and pose for photos with the girls.

Dame Kelly along with the Conference's elite athletes.

Even the day's Stewards got their very own moment with Kelly!

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