Paralympic gold medallist Josef Craig MBE officially unveils wall mural at his former school

Young Sports Personality of the Year winner and paralympic gold medallist Josef Craig MBE has unveiled a mural at his former school.

By Hayley Lovely
Friday, 29th April 2022, 2:26 pm

The swimming champion unveiled the mural at St Joseph’s Catholic Academy in Hebburn, part of Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust.

The mural features Josef alongside other great sporting champions including tennis star Emma Raducanu, heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury, Manchester United and England footballer Marcus Rashford and Dina Asher-Smith, an Olympic British sprinter.

It was created by students to promote and inspire pupils to enjoy sport and also demonstrate diversity and be proud of who the are.

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Josef Craig MBE in front of his artistic drawing by student

Alicia Berry, assistant curriculum leader of PE at St Joseph’s, said: “The role models chosen to feature in our stunning new art display have all fought hard for something and, as an education trust, we believe they’re sporting champions who should be looked up to for not just what they’ve achieved but for who they are.

“All of these champions have dared to be different; they’ve broken stereotypes and overcome great challenges to excel both as people and in their lives.

“It was wonderful to welcome Josef back to our school, in the 10th anniversary year of his 2012 Paralympics success and present to him the wonderful artwork of our talented pupils."

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St. Joseph's Catholic Academy artwork display

The art project began last September and was completed by student artists using a mixture of inks and acrylics to give a textured finish. The pupils studied different artist’s styles for inspiration and creativity.

Josef shared his story with pupils who asked him questions about his swimming carreer how he remained motivated and driven to achieve his goals.

Pupils were keen to know how he stayed strong mentally when he was selected to represent Team GB in the London 2012 Paralympic Games, where he won a gold medal in the 400m freestyle at world record pace.

He said: “It's been great to be back, it just seems like yesterday that I was walking around the school as a student.

L-R Amelia Adair, Emily Booth, Lexie Mackin, Nancy Blackburn, Alicia Berry and Josef Craig MBE

“It was heart-warming to see the amazing artwork and the students are a credit to the school and their teachers.

“The students have put so much thought into the artwork and also the questions they asked me while I was visiting were great. I wish everyone the best in their studies and future success.”

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Josef Craig MBE with students at St Joseph's Catholic Academy, part of Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust.jpg