Former double world champion and hurdling hero Colin Jackson (CBE) was the guest of honour at Somercotes Academy’s presentation evening held last week.
The popular BBC commentator came to the academy fresh off the plane from the Rio 2016 Olympics to hand out awards, speak to pupils and see the academy’s new state of the art fitness suite.
Colin Jackson has won just about every athletics accolade available to him. He was a double world champion in the 110m hurdles, four times European champion, twice Commonwealth champion, Olympic silver medallist and a world record holder in hurdles for almost 13 years.
Colin Jackson presented more than 60 trophies to students for achievement and progress in the last academic year.
He told them that the best advice he could give them was something he told a 15-year-old boy who is now an Olympic legend, Usain Bolt: “The most important thing in life is not to let yourself down, to work hard and see what you can achieve. Striving for excellence is the key.”
When Colin visited the fitness suite earlier in the day, he was impressed by the facilities. He said: “Facilities like this rarely exist even in London for students. Many areas are very poor and real estate is expensive. They do not have this kind of space. You are very, very lucky to have such incredible facilities and you must make the most of them.”
Not only did he spend more than an hour chatting with students and answering their questions, but he also got down on the gym floor to demonstrate the correct use of a Swiss ball for promoting core fitness, a testament to his own continued athletic prowess at the age of 49.