Olympic skier inspires pupils with story

Pupils from Beccles Free School with Olympic skier Ellie Koyander.

Pupils from Beccles Free School with Olympic skier Ellie Koyander. - Credit: Archant

Pupils at a Beccles school have been working with British Olympic skier Ellie Koyander to develop their leadership and teamwork skills.

The freestyle skier visited Beccles Free School to share her experiences and achievements as a professional skier, as well as inspiring pupils with advice on overcoming barriers, developing people skills and maintaining a strong determination to achieve.

She also led practical activities to help Year 8 and 9 pupils develop leadership and teamwork skills, and find out the strength and skills required to become an Olympian.

Ms Koyander said: “I was impressed with the talent and brilliant teamwork shown in all the challenges I set and, after working through the six keys to success together, I feel confident that the students will go on to be very successful wherever life takes them.”

Ms Koyander competed in the Europe and North America World Cup, the World Championships and the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver in 2010 at the age of 18 as the youngest team GB member. After starting out on the slopes at just 18-months-old, she joined the Great British Freestyle Ski team at 16. Her visit was part of the Sky Sports ‘Living for Sport’ project, which encourages world-class athletes to visit schools and share their stories. Ms Koyander worked with pupils from the school’s Sports Leaders enrichment, which aims to help young people develop the skills and confidence needed to be a leader, and will be returning in November.

Tony Baxter, subject leader for PE at Beccles Free School, said: “It was very inspiring for the students to meet an elite athlete and to understand that, no matter what your background, you can achieve great things if you are determined enough.”