Pool Hayes Academy, Castle Drive, Willenhall, West Midlands WV12 4QZ

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Sky Sports Athlete Visits Year 10

The Horizons Project began with a bang when a group of 14 Pool Hayes Academy boys spent a fantastic afternoon with Commonwealth Judo star Tom Davis.

Tom, a former Commonwealth and British Judo champion, talked about how sport changed his life and gave him a purpose. He talked of how at 13 he gave up Judo, lost direction and made bad choices. However, the boys learned that when Tom turned 16 he fell in love with the sport and didn’t look back. Tom showed that life was made up of choices, whether that is in school, sport or at work.

The boys were particularly inspired by the way that Tom showed reliance throughout his life. Tom, who competed in the 81kg category, won the Commonwealth and British championships in 2005 and trained hard for the 2016 Olympics in Rio. However, he was injured during the Olympics and couldn’t compete. Tom showed determination and resilience to succeed and now works with Sky Sports as an Athlete Mentor, inspiring pupils across the UK.

The group of boys undertook team building challenges and shared their dream jobs. They planned how to reach their goals and took on difficult problem-solving tasks. Tom stressed the importance of resilience and perseverance throughout the afternoon.

Tom was delighted with the boys’ ideas and persistence. He noted that the group was one of the best that he had worked with because they showed character and grit.

The group were able to link the session back to the classroom, citing that they should show more resilience in lessons they may find difficult like Spanish and Maths.

Dylan Page said: “this was a fun session that showed me how important team work and planning is to make success; it really got me thinking about what I want to do”.

Ty Evans also commented saying that “all though I struggle in my GCSE lessons, Tom has shown that if I make the right choices and show a bit of determination I can become successful”.

The Horizon Project is now in full flow with a year 7 parents launch for selected students taking place on Wednesday 11th October.

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