Olympic champion visits St Swithun’s Prep School

07 May 2020

St Swithun's independent girls preparatory day and boarding school Hampshire

St Swithun’s Prep School was thrilled to welcome British athlete Mark Lewis-Francis, MBE for a recent visit. Mark is perhaps best known for his role

anchoring the Great Britain and Northern Ireland 4 x 100 metres relay team to a famous gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.

During his visit to St Swithun’s Mark worked with year 5 pupils, talking them through sprinting mechanics such as dynamic movement, and explaining how best to switch on short fibre muscles, how to achieve an explosive sprint start and the importance of using your arms. The students participated in a number of drills and fun races.

Mark later led a whole-school assembly where he talked about his fascinating journey from his early years to the Olympics and beyond. He highlighted to prep school children the importance of always giving their best and having grit and determination when pursuing goals.

St Swithun’s Prep headmistress Rebecca Lyons-Smith said “Mark’s message about failure being an important step on the road to success is very much one we subscribe to at St Swithun’s. It was great to hear him say that it was his failures which enabled him to become a gold medal-winning Olympian. Our girls have all been inspired by Mark’s visit, especially after having the chance to hold and wear the gold medal!”


Photo caption: Mark Lewis-Francis leading a PE lesson at St Swithun’s Prep School