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Talk by sportsman aims to inspire pupils to success

Josef Craig gives a motivational talk to pupils at South Shields Community School.
Josef Craig gives a motivational talk to pupils at South Shields Community School.

The drive and determination of a South Tyneside sportsman to reach gold is hoping to inspire pupils onto GCSE success.

Paralympian Josef Craig visited South Shields Community School in Nevinson Avenue, South Shields, to talk to students as they prepare for their final exams.

The 19-year-old, from Jarrow, made headlines in 2012 when he became the youngest paralympian at the Paralympic Games to win gold, smashing two world records on his rise to the top spot.

Pupils heard how Josef, who has cerebral palsy, refused to let his disability stop him from living his dream of one day becoming a gold medal winner.

A spokesman for the school said: “The students listened to Josef talking about the importance of resilience and determination even when circumstances are challenging.

“He likened his experience of training for the London Olympics to their own GCSE examination preparation emphasising the importance of a fully-focused mind.”

Following the talk the students went on to take part in a range of workshops including developing a ‘growth mindset’ which advocate s the importance of effort and hard work, in particular in the areas they find most difficult.

They also spent time exploring the most effective strategies for revising, planning and a revision timetable and coping strategies to ensure they are mentally and emotionally prepared for GCSE exam season.

Josef trains at the City of Sunderland Amateur Swimming Club and was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to swimming.