What a fantastic start to our week for Team Mintridge and our brilliant gymnastics Commonwealth Games finalist Grace Harrision, as we had the pleasure of visiting Prior’s Field School with our partners Squadkit, for a fun filled day of gymnastics. We were extremely excited about our day, as Grace would get to meet her mentee that she will be mentoring over the next six months, as part of this very special Silver mentoring Programme.
Our morning began with a whole school assembly, where Grace was welcomed in talk about dealing with the highs and lows of her sport and what the journey looks like to compete at the highest level. With a room full of talented athletes, from a range of sports, it was amazing for the young women in the room to hear how sport can shape and change your life but also how it can enhance and fit in alongside your studies. At the end of Grace’s presentation, Grace was delighted to present the Squadkit Scholarship Award, to a young lady who is progressing very quickly through the gymnastics ranks and one to watch in the future. This young lady will also have access to Grace and her gymnastics expertise during the next six months of mentoring.
As the assembly drew to a close, it was time to start a day of practical sessions. With a fully equipped sports hall and a room full of contentious gymnasts, Grace began the warm up and quickly progressed into some exciting skill-based work with the elite gymnasts. There were some very talented young gymnasts in the room and Grace went on to challenge these, as they practised their flicks, free cartwheels and vaulting. It was so great to see the progression through each of the stages, leading up to incredible vaulting performances.
Throughout the day the fun continued for Grace and the gymnasts. The beginner and novice group also put in spectacular performances and showed Grace their best skills, as well as seeking some top tips from our former Commonwealth gymnast. Again, it was very inspiring to see the girls using the tips that Grace was giving them and rapidly improving during their allocated sessions.
At the end of each of the sessions the girls got to relax and ask Grace any questions they had been thinking of throughout their day with her.
Some of the best questions were;
What was your favourite leotard?
What was the hardest piece you did during the Commonwealth Games?
How old were you when you got your badges for gymnastics?
What injury caused you to retire?
Did you do any other sports before gymnastics?
Where did you learn most of your skills?
Who is your inspiration?
The girls in the group also jumped at the chance to take selfies with Grace and pose for some photos in the Mintridge Twitter frame and with the Mintridge photo props. Each student also received a signed autograph card from Grace, to takeaway with them to remember the fantastic day they had with our Commonwealth finalist.
With a school full of incredibly talented sports scholars, Prior’s Field School invited Grace to discuss with the scholars her sporting journey and what it takes to compete at the elite level. It was an interactive session bringing together the key ideas about what it takes to compete at the top and linking those to Grace’s journey to success. As the girls moved around the room, they brought together and discussed the key ideas around what sport has given them and what skills they would need to keep progressing in their sports. It was incredibly relevant for the girls to hear how the journey they were on was very normal and would lead to success, if they could use the disappointments to keep moving forward.
At the end of the sports scholarship session, Grace was able to sit with her mentee and explain what the process will look like over the next six months of mentoring. It was also the chance for them both to get to know each other before their first Skype call.
We are so grateful to the staff and students at Prior’s Field School for inviting Grace and Team Mintridge to be a part of this special Silver mentoring Programme, that was ran in partnership with Squadkit, our fantastic kit sponsors.
If you would like to see the photos from the day, then please contact the staff at the school.
You can see the video from our day at our YouTube channel via this link : https://youtu.be/8h0dJJttWdU
Thank you to Prior’s Field School, for a brilliant day and Squadkit for enabling it to happen.
We look forward to working with you over the next six months of mentoring.