7 August 2023
Everyone is capable of achieving more than they realise was the strong message to pupils at Harrogate Ladies’ College at their annual Sports Presentation evening.
Epic runner Sam Boatwright, who ran 50 miles a day in 50 days, told the audience that anything is possible if you have self-belief and resilience.
Sam gave an inspirational speech urging pupils to follow their dreams in whatever walk of life they choose.
The audience heard how Sam left school at 16 and joined the Armed Forces but never set out to be a long-distance runner. He said motivating people into believing in themselves was one of his greatest passions.
His journey into becoming one of the UK’s best-known long-distance runners began one Boxing Day when he challenged himself to see how far he could run, and 84 miles later, realised he had found his calling.
“Ever since I changed the course of my life, I’ve been driven to share the message that believing in yourself and having a passion for what you enjoy can shape the way you live your life and the goals you can achieve.
“Challenging yourself to try new things, believing that anything is possible, and motivating yourself to achieve new things are great lessons in life,” he said.
Parents and pupils at the awards ceremony heard how Sam set out on the open roads in September 2017 and, with a second-hand bike and a couple of pairs of trainers, covered 3,000 miles, crossing the American coast in 32 days.
He ran 50 miles one day and cycled 150 miles the next day on a journey that took him through 14 US states and helped raise £30,000 for Help the Heroes.
The annual Sports Presentation Evening at Harrogate Ladies’ College saw Sports Captains and pupils win an array of medals and cups for their sporting achievements over the last year locally, regionally, and nationally, in sports ranging from swimming, netball, lacrosse, and rounders, to athletics and tennis.
The Head of Sport at the school, Nikki Priestley praised the hard work and commitment of pupils through the year.
“We have competed in events up and down the country with some incredible individual and team success and, most importantly, lots of fun, camaraderie, and team work.
“We have a great tradition of sporting excellence, superb facilities, and a joyous ‘can do’ attitude towards taking part in different sports”