Christine Ohuruogu MBE offers words of wisdom to students at awards celebration

Former track and field athlete and four-time Olympian, Christine Ohuruogu MBE, joined St John Bosco Arts College at the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral for its annual awards celebration. 

The Olympic gold medallist addressed the packed cathedral, sharing an inspiring speech with students. Christine said: “People always ask me what my secret to success is and the answer is there is no secret recipe to success. Hard work, focus and discipline are what helped me flourish in my career. 

“If I could give you three pieces of advice it would be to back yourself, always be your own strongest advocate. If you have a strong belief in yourself and what you can achieve, you can give yourself the best possible opportunities. 

“Secondly, it would be to acknowledge that things will go wrong. Each mistake teaches us a valuable lesson, so learn from your mistakes; it will help you grow. My last piece of advice comes from my late coach, who once said: ‘Running is easy. It is just one step in front of the other’. No matter how difficult things may seem, think of the bigger picture – you can do this!

“Congratulations to you all. Keep lifting yourselves up, and you will continue to achieve amazing things.”

Christine Ohuruogu MBE is Britain’s most successful female athlete.  She won the 400m at the 2008 Olympic Games, 2007 and 2013 World Championship and 2006 Commonwealth Games.  She won silver in the 400m at the 2012 Olympic Games and 12 medals in the 4x400m at Olympic, World, European or Commonwealth levels.  

Christine was British Sportswoman of the Year in 2013 and after her retirement in 2018 moved to work in the legal world.  She currently holds a number of Board or Non- Executive positions with GB Boxing, British Athletics, Sporting Equals, Sports Resolutions and the Lloyd Cowan Bursary. 

Christine was keen to share her experiences as a successful female in the sporting industry with the next generation. 

The annual event celebrated the achievements of pupils across the school. Key Stage 4 pupils accepted subject prizes and Key Stage 3 pupils received recognition for their hard work and commitment. The effort and achievement awards celebrate the pupils who invested significant time and passion into their studies.

For those who completed GCSE and A-levels during the 2021/22 academic year, it was a chance to receive their certificates, which will undoubtedly serve as a memento of their accomplishments at St John Bosco. Some students also received school trophies for their outstanding achievements, dedication and commitment to St John Bosco Arts College. 

After all the awards were presented, staff and students were treated to a musical rendition of Chariots of Fire, by Vangelis; performed by the Bosco school band. 

The school’s dance team then took centre stage to perform a High School Musical medley.

The heart-warming afternoon was closed by the whole school, who joined together for the school hymn.  

Darren Gidman, headteacher at St John Bosco Arts College, said: “Our school community is built on nurturing and celebrating the dreams and talents of our students, in the spirit of St John Bosco. 

“As another year ends, it is an opportunity to reflect on a fantastic year at St John Bosco. There have been so many outstanding achievements, and each one deserves recognition. The awards celebration is our chance to come together and share in each other’s success. 

“A massive thank you to our Bosco community, from students, staff, and parents, you are the beating heart of our school, and I look forward to another year filled with joy and success.”

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