Bede's Athletes Attend 'A Life In Sport' Talk


An up close and personal evening offering tales of unique insights, unconventional routes and second sporting chances, were heard in abundance last Thursday evening.

This was no ordinary seminar. An audience were treated to what can only be described as an honest, gritty and anecdotal journey into the highs and lows of a professional career in sport.  


Early on, it became clear that the focus of the evening was not just about outstanding sporting ability and talent. David Byrne had ingeniously put together a programme of speakers to demonstrate there is no, one fixed route into the sporting profession. The need for passion, discipline, professionalism, determination and resilience was a key message running throughout the evening. The hard graft of working your way up from the bottom, making mistakes and making your own luck, was a far cry from the lure of bright lights in becoming a professional sports person. It was a harsh reality.

However, the speakers spoke with such a love and enjoyment for their cherished chosen fields, that you could be easily be forgiven for forgetting the personal sacrifices, blood, sweat and tears that had clearly been shed along the way.


From changing people’s health and personal confidence through personal training, to treating sporting ailments, to respond when a national coach tells you that you are not at having your best day, and making a cricket pitch using termite mounds, we learnt what motivated our speakers and what words of wisdom had stuck with them. In case you’re wondering, mums know a lot more than you might think!

The speakers were David Byrne (Head of Sport at Bede’s), Deborah Franks (Head of Careers and Employability at Bede’s), Lesley Rothera (professional sport and personal trainer and ex figure athlete), James Kirtley (professional cricketer), Olly Davies (ex-Bedian and founder of Swerve Soccer), Oliver Krouwel (Physiotherapist, with experience of working for Brighton and Hove Albion, the NHS and in private practice), Neil Lenham (professional cricketer and national coach), Mary-Jane Newberry (Head of PE at Bede’s) and Oliver Gibson (Lecturer in Physiology at Brunel University London).


On a personal note, I was reminded of how staggering the breadth and quality of the sports expertise at Bede’s really is, and that the values of #Team Bede's really are something for our pupils to behold. 


Learn more about Sport at Bede's > 

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