The Alleyn’s sports community was joined virtually by Great Britain, England and Saracens Rugby Sevens player, Deborah Fleming on Wednesday 18 November in the first of a new series of lockdown speakers.
More than 100 members of the Alleyn’s community logged in for the insightful talk including pupils, parents and staff, fascinated to learn Deborah’s journey, hear her advice about sport participation and to hear her tackle pupils’ questions.
After Deborah’s sports career began as a netballer and sprinter, she moved to specialise in rugby following a 'talent transfer' programme at the age of 21. She has gone on to play as a full-time professional, competed in the Commonwealth Games, played in the World Series all over the globe and had been planning to play in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Her fascinating story aligns with how the Alleyn’s Sport Department support pupils - through encouraging a core range of sports, having a strong set of values at the heart of everything you do and being ambitious in seizing opportunities.
As well as tackling questions posed by Alleyn’s pupils during the talk, from how she brings herself back when losing a big match to discovering Deborah’s female role model, she also offered plenty of personal advice.
She said: “Make sure you’re enjoying yourself and that you’re exposing yourself to loads of different situations because then you’ll be challenging yourself to get better.” She also emphasised the value of determination and effort, stating: "Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard."
We are thrilled to be welcoming hockey midfielder Dave Goodfield for the next talk in the series on Wednesday, 25 November. Dave represents Great Britain as a member of the senior international hockey programme and plays for current league-leaders Surbiton in the English Premier Division.