Inspirational Swimmer and Olympian Karen Pickering MBE inspired pupils at Newcastle-under-Lyme School’s Senior Prize Giving event this week at the Victoria Hall in Hanley.

Former World and European Freestyle Champion and four times Commonwealth Gold medalist, Karen spoke about her personal approach to the challenges of a professional swimming career, sharing stories of resilience and strength of ambition throughout difficult times. Karen presented the school prizes to the pupils and congratulated pupils individually.

She also met with the School’s Swimming Captains Hollie Franks, George Sketcher, Rhiannon Pass, and Georgia Walker as well as NULS Swimming Coach, Laura Wiseman. Younger pupils Charlotte Burton-Rowe, Rubens Leonard and Gracie Walters were also in attendance and met with the guest speaker.

Swimming is a huge part of the Newcastle-under-Lyme School’s curricular and co-curricular activities. Pupils are introduced to lessons from reception age and taught water safety and later, valuable lifesaving skills. As well as competitive swimming including prominent national events such as the Bath and Otter Swimming Cup, which take place in the Olympic pool, the School competes to a high level in Lifesaving.

Senior Prize Giving is an opportunity for the School to show pupils how incredibly proud they are of them, and to recognise their achievements.

Mr David Wallbank, Chair of Governors, gave the opening address followed by Headmaster Mr Michael Getty's report on the School Year.

Newcastle-under-Lyme School would like to express their thanks to Karen Pickering MBE for providing such an inspirational speech and for taking the time to attend the event.