We welcomed the World European Champion and Paralympic wheelchair basketballer, Siobhan Fitzpatrick, for an inspirational talk to students.
Students heard about how wheelchair basketball changed Siobhan’s life, back in 2010, after she was told she couldn’t take part in PE classes at secondary school because she has Cerebral Palsy.
Siobhan described how disability sports gave her power back and helped her into a life of freedom, success and positivity.
Siobhan is passionate about educating young people on disability, sports and how you can achieve your dreams no matter the adversity or disability. She said: “It’s important to speak to students, especially sports students, about how sport is for everyone. I use my story because, as I don’t use a wheelchair day-to-day, you might not always know I have a disability.
“I hope my talk has helped these students realise that they can achieve anything they want to, even with setbacks. They might not take a typical route to achieve those things, but they can honestly go on to achieve anything they want to!”
Siobhan was not the only athlete to attend the college, with professional rugby player Thomas Minns visiting, as well as former Premier League footballer, Bruce Dyer and ex-Manchester United player, Aaron Burns.
Bruce became the country’s first £1 million teenager when he joined Crystal Palace from Watford in 1994. He joined Barnsley Football Club in 1998 before returning to Watford after five years at Oakwell, had spells at Stoke City, Millwall, Sheffield United, Doncaster Rovers, Bradford City, Rotherham United, Chesterfield and York City and also represented England at under-21 level.
Bruce delivered an eye-opening talk about his footballing journey and life after professional football, which included opening his own church, Love Life UK. Bruce also founded Love Life Sports Ground Grimethorpe and dedicates his time and energy to coaching children and promoting youth development whilst giving back to the local community.
Bruce added: “I share my journey with young people because it’s good to speak to someone who’s been there, seen it and done what you are trying to achieve. Knowledge and information are really powerful, so it’s good to be able to pass it on to these students.
“If there is one thing that I hope every student will take away from today, it is to make the right choices in life.”
Last updated: 15th February 2024