Sarah shares her sporting ethos

5 Oct 2021 10:00
Published by: Scott Callan

DAME Sarah Storey, the nation’s greatest ever Paralympian, shared her winning philosophy with a group of Macclesfield schoolchildren.

Dame Sarah, from Disley, who has 17 gold medals to her name, told an audience of youngsters aged between eight and 12: “Never wonder… what if?”

She was speaking at King’s School’s ‘Well Being Day”. The 43-year-old cyclist said: “Don’t think ‘What If I had tried harder, done that extra practice session, gone that extra mile.’ Never allow yourself to fail for want of practice and hard work.

“If you feel upset when you fail, then let that build your determination and, most importantly, don't be down-hearted, just think of failing as an opportunity to learn where to improve.”

Two of her gold medals were won in the pool and Dame Sarah, who began swimming seriously at Stockport Metro, aged 10, remembered being told: “I’m sorry but you’re a bit too old to start.” She said: “Well I wasn’t going to let that stop me and I tried all the harder.”

Now aged 43, the holder of 40 world titles and 77 world records in her two sports, revealed there could be more to come. She said: “I definitely want to go to Paris in 2024, mainly because in Tokyo I felt so isolated due to Covid, so it would be nice to experience that genuine Olympic atmosphere again.!

Dame Sarah was questioned by pupils about life on the road and her how she balances her sporting and family lives, now she has two children.

And she had one final piece of advice for them, telling the audience: “Determination, hard work, practice and resilience aren't just reserved for sport but should be transferrable skills across all aspects of your life.”

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