The Power of Sport: Why Sporting Heroes Matter
Sporting Heroes have been a central theme of the campaign to build the Sports Campus. When the campaign launched in 2016, the school began to enlist the support of a myriad of well known sporting heroes, to both raise the profile of the Sports Campus project and also to inspire its community to be more active, more often. Stars such as Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, Sally Gunnell, Michael Jordan, Tom Daley, Max Whitlock and dozens more lent their support to the campaign by posing in ‘Proud to be a Sporting Hero’ t-shirts and by writing tributes to their own sporting heroes, which the school then auctioned off.
Leading sports teams also helped by hosting fundraising events, with a Sporting Heroes dinner staged at Arsenal FC, and a glittering Gala Dinner held at Williams Formula 1. Rugby heroes Rachael Burford and Phil Vickery visited the school to hear more about the Sports Campus campaign, and others such as Kenny Logan, Mark Foster, Duncan Goodhew, David Gower and Invictus Games Captain Rachel Williamson have spoken passionately about the power of sport at the school’s fundraising events.
Several of the school’s own home-grown sporting heroes, Olympian Craig Pickering and footballing brothers Sam and George Baldock, have also lent their support. The school has encouraged students and parents to nominate their own sporting heroes to appear on a special wall of heroes in the Sports Campus – including the option to name local grassroots coaches and family members as heroes.
In a memorable highlight of the campaign, one of the school’s 6th formers, Lauren Kay, bravely took to the stage alongside heroes at the Sporting Heroes dinner at Arsenal FC to share her story about the power of sport; how watching the 2012 Olympics from her hospital bed following a life threatening illness had inspired her to vow to not only make a full recovery but to represent her country in a sport. With the help of the PE team at the Royal Latin, Lauren did just that, and while still at school, won her place in the Team GB rowing team. Lauren’s story inspired heroes, parents and students alike, and definitely earns her a place in the Royal Latin history books.