Tracey Neville MBE urges girls to “Think Gold not Bronze”

Commending Blackheath High School girls on their sporting prowess, Tracey Neville MBE, retired English Netball player and Head Coach of the England National Netball team, urged girls to “Think Gold not Bronze”.

At a special awards evening to celebrate and recognise the commitment and achievement of Blackheath High School girls in sport, Tracey encouraged the girls to “be comfortable feeling uncomfortable”. In a rousing speech, Tracey spoke about her experience of leading England to Gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, outlining the steps, the lessons learned and encouraging the girls to set their goals high.

At the Sports Award Evening, girls from Years 5-13 received awards for their sporting achievements over the past academic year.

To try and risk failure is immeasurably more valuable than never trying at all.

Carol Chandler Thompson, Head, Blackheath High School

Tracey Neville MBE is a retired English netball player and head coach of the England national netball team. She first represented her country in 1993 and competed for England in the 1998 and 2002 Commonwealth Games. In 2015, Tracey was appointed coach of the England netball team. She was awarded Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2016 New Year Honours for services to netball.

The Sports Award Evening was one of a series of events held at Blackheath High School as part of ‘Challenge Week’. For one week, students participated in specially designed classes emphasising the importance of stepping outside of their comfort zones to achieve their potential. This included an Army Bootcamp during which students faced physical and mental challenges to help develop their resilience and team building skills, and a Resilience workshop with the charity Blesma, The Limbless Veterans, teaching girls about positive and negative responses to adversity.

Head teacher, Carol Chandler Thompson said “we challenge our students to put themselves outside of their comfort zone on a regular basis; this is particularly important for young women, who we know historically have tended to be risk averse and vulnerable to ‘imposter syndrome’. Our mantra is: ‘To try and risk failure is immeasurably more valuable than never trying at all’.  Our annual Challenge Week allows us to celebrate this fearless attitude here at Blackheath High School.”