Top Harrogate school to host Olympic stars with a message of 'following your dream'

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Two world-class athletes are to share the stage with young achievers when a Harrogate school celebrates the successes of the 2023/34 academic year later this month.

British Olympic legends Beth Tweddle and Roger Black will be addressing pupils, staff and parents at the forthcoming Speech Days at Ashville College, one of Yorkshire’s leading independent schools.

Both holders of the MBE, gymnast Beth Tweddle won bronze at the 2012 Olympics in London, while runner Roger Black took silver in the 400m in 1996.

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The famous athletes are now also successful business owners and public speakers.

Olympic legend Roger Black will be attending Ashville College’s Senior School and Sixth Form Speech Day in Harrogate on Saturday, June 29. (Picture contributed)Olympic legend Roger Black will be attending Ashville College’s Senior School and Sixth Form Speech Day in Harrogate on Saturday, June 29. (Picture contributed)
Olympic legend Roger Black will be attending Ashville College’s Senior School and Sixth Form Speech Day in Harrogate on Saturday, June 29. (Picture contributed)

Next week will see them talk to Harrogate students about following your dream, triumph in adversity and the challenges of change – complementing Ashville College’s philosophy emphasising the importance of life experience both inside the classroom and the world outside.

Beth Tweddle, who also starred in ITV’s Dancing On Ice, is to address Ashville’s Reception and Prep School Speech Day on Thursday, June 27.

She said: “My mum and dad were instrumental in teaching me life goals.

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"Sport was ingrained in our family, and, with that, they taught my brother and I life skills about communication, determination and teamwork.

British Olympic great Beth Tweddle, who is to address Ashville’s Reception and Prep School Speech Day in Harrogate on Thursday, June 27. (Picture contributed)British Olympic great Beth Tweddle, who is to address Ashville’s Reception and Prep School Speech Day in Harrogate on Thursday, June 27. (Picture contributed)
British Olympic great Beth Tweddle, who is to address Ashville’s Reception and Prep School Speech Day in Harrogate on Thursday, June 27. (Picture contributed)

"Life is about ups and downs and how you pick yourself up after a disappointment, because that is life.”

Roger Black will be attending Ashville College’s Senior School and Sixth Form Speech Day on Saturday, June 29, to share his insight into his 14 years of top-level competition, drawing comparisons with the world of work and our development as individuals.

He said: “What I hope I can do is to help inspire young people follow Ashville’s motto and be the best version of themselves.

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“There are similarities in the world of sport and the world of work.

"Both can involve overcoming adversity, adapting to change, being part of a team and learning when to lead and when to delegate.

"Even elite athletes will have faced failure along the way but that’s not what defines them.

"It’s how they adapt to those setbacks.”

Head of Ashville College, Rhiannon Wilkinson, said the school was delighted to have secured two UK sporting heroes.

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A recent example of the success of the Harrogate school’s approach is former Ashvillian, 24-year-old George Mills, son of former England football star Danny Mills who took silver in the 5,000m at the European Championships in Rome.