Olympic silver medallist Mallory Franklin inspires pupils in Dedworth

Olympic hero Mallory Franklin returned to Dedworth Middle School this week to give an inspirational talk to pupils.

The 27-year-old won a silver medal in the women’s canoe slalom event at the Tokyo Olympics – making history in the process as she competed in the inaugural women’s C1 category.

Mallory, a former pupil at the Smiths Lane school, visited for a special assembly on Thursday.

Dressed in her Team GB uniform and carrying her silver medal, the athlete spoke to pupils about her passion for canoeing and the sacrifices she had to make from a young age to reach the Olympics.

She also relived her experience from this summer’s games which were completed without spectators due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Pupils then got a chance to see her historic medal up close and ask questions about her journey.

Executive headteacher Nicola Chandler said: “For our children to be inspired by someone like this and to see what they can do if they put their heads and hearts into something is brilliant.

“We felt really privileged to welcome her.”

Ms Chandler, who joined the school in September 2020, said Mallory embodied the new ACHIEVE school values which have recently been introduced.

These values are aspiring, creative, happy, inspire, encourage, valiant and engaged.

Ms Chandler added: “We’re on a very exciting journey. We’ve got new school uniform, new school values, a brand new computer suite, SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) centre and autistic base.

“We’ve done so much in a year and we’ve got a lot more to do, it’s really exciting.”

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