Paralympic champion swimmer inspires academy students by her experiences

Paralympic Fran Williamson with students at Bedford Academy.
Paralympic Fran Williamson with students at Bedford Academy.

Paralympic medallist Fran Williamson gave students at Bedford Academy inspiration to succeed when she paid a visit.

The champion swimmer, who visited the school as part of the Sky Sports Living for Sport (SSLFS) mentoring scheme, shared her experiences with 12 boys aged 13 and 14.

The Sky scheme uses sport to motivate and inspire young people and help develop their self-confidence and academic attainment.

Fran spoke about personal obstacles she had overcome and provided insights into her life as one of Britain’s top paralympic champions.

Fran has won 13 World Championships and six paralympic medals and is the latest in a line of SSLFS mentors to visit the academy, following in the footsteps of Ian Rose, former European and World judo champion, and Dermot Gascoyne, a former international heavyweight boxer.

Principal Claire Smith believes that the initiative has made a positive contribution to improved engagement with the English curriculum and literacy skills.

She said: “We were honoured to welcome Fran to Bedford Academy and excited to learn all about her many accomplishments. Her talk was especially motivating for our students instilling them with renewed enthusiasm.

“Such a visit is a great boost for our own initiative and we are grateful to Sky Sports Living for Sport for its longstanding involvement with our school.”