By: B. Zarzur
During this year’s equality week, which took place from the 8th until the 12th of April, we welcomed Claire Harvey, who came all the way from England to see us. She is a tremendously talented para-athlete that plays for the Great Britain women’s national sitting volleyball team. Throughout this week, Claire gave St. Paul’s students many enriching workshop sessions and assemblies as well as PE lessons.
During a whole-school assembly, she told us that since her early years, she loved playing rugby and would never even consider playing volleyball. However, after her accident, which left her paralyzed from the waist down, she sought to discover new sports she would be able to take part in. She stumbled across a group of women, who also had physical deficiencies, that were trying to form a sitting volleyball team. Although Claire had no idea how to play sitting volleyball, she was determined and opened to learn. She eventually learned how to play and she was involved in the 2012 summer Paralympics. She made it clear that getting to the 2012 Paralympics was definitely not that easy and that it took months for the team to simply find a gym. With time, their team were able to train frequently and, despite not being one of the most qualified teams in the world, they were a team and were determined to give it their all.
Personally, I found the workshops during PE lessons very challenging and amusing at the same time. I think that Claire's story was very inspiring and taught us all a lesson about how determination and commitment will always pay off.