Schoolchildren inspired by talk from Team GB star

The head coach of Team GB's gold-medal winning disability rugby team gave an inspiring talk to pupils at Fernadale Primary School in Great Barr.

Paul Shaw, head coach of Team GB's gold medal-winning disability rugby team at this year's Tokyo Paralympics,with Ferndale Primary School students and headteacher Ruth Gillett
Paul Shaw, head coach of Team GB's gold medal-winning disability rugby team at this year's Tokyo Paralympics,with Ferndale Primary School students and headteacher Ruth Gillett

Paul Shaw, who coached the team for the Tokyo Paralympics, spoke about his disability, being adopted and how he overcame his setbacks to achieve his goals.

Sandwell Council cabinet member for children and education councillor Karen Simms was also present during the visit which formed part of the school's Diversity, Inclusion and Aspiration drive.

Headteacher Ruth Gillett said: "The school has 585 pupils, aged from three to eleven-years-old, and some 360 listened to Paul talk about how he overcame difficulties.

"We want every child to reach their ceiling and challenge stereotypes.

"As a result we have devised a whole programme through which we invite people from various fields, such as an historian, a scientist, sports people, musicians and artists to come into the school to talk to the children.

"Paul talked to the children about his life, his car accident when he was 20-years-old which led to him being in a wheelchair, and how he took up wheelchair rugby.

"He explained how this had led him to coaching the gold-medal winning disability rugby team and his achievements.

"Paul told the children that no matter what happens in life people can still achieve their dreams.

"We have children in school with special needs and Paul's talk was well-received.

"The children absolutely loved it and were delighted to hear how he transformed his life to being what he has become today."

Future speakers include Chloe Morgan, a goalie with Crystal Palace Women's team.

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