LIPHOOK sprint queen Olivia Breen made a triumphant return to her old Bohunt School as ambassador for Sky Sports Living for Sports – ahead of joining Team GB at the Rio Paralympics.
Accompanied by fellow Team GB member and British champion sprinter Lesley Owusu, the two young athletes delivered inspiring talks to an enthusiastic assembly and spent the morning working with groups of students as mentors for Sky Sports Living for Sports.
Back in September 2012, some 200 Bohunt pupils went to the Olympic Stadium to watch their fellow student, 15-year-old Olivia Breen, win a bronze medal in the 4x100m relay race at the Paralympics.
At the time, she was the youngest member of Paralympic Team GB.
Now aged 19, Olivia returned to Bohunt School to talk about her achievements over the last four years and her hopes for the Rio Paralympics, as part of Team GB.
She proudly wore her Paralympic bronze, as well as the gold she won in the 4x100m relay IPC World Championships in Doha, where she also beat the world record, while talkign to the pupils.
It is now three years since Olivia, who suffers from cerebral palsy, left Bohunt school after finishing her GCSEs.
“Going to college has given me much greater independence,” she said.
“But life has not been easy since the 2012 Olympics and I did not have a good season in 2013.
‘But I love running, it really makes me happy and I love to push myself. I never say no to an opportunity.
“When I was young I was invited to take part in disability events, but at the time I did not think it was for me. I am so glad that I changed my mind, because it has changed my life.”
Olivia, who is supported by the Sky Academy Sports Scholarship scheme, helping young athletes fulfil their potential on the international stage and achieve their goals for Rio 2016, told today’s students at her old school to “believe and achieve”.
She recently helped to launch the Team GB kits, designed by world famous fashion designer Stella McCartney alongside Adidas, together with Tom Daly and Jessica Ennis-Hill.
She also filmed Superhumans for Channel 4 as well as a mini-documentary for Sky which was shown on Sky Sports One at the end of April. Selection for the Rio Paralympics is at end of July, just after the Anniversary Games.
The Paralympic team will be heading off to Brazil at the end of August for holding camp.