Guest Speaker Inspires Students to up their Game
A former Cardinal Heenan old boy returned to the school on Friday 24 May to speak to first team footballers in Years 9, 10 and 11.
Nicky O'Connell attended Cardinal Heenan Catholic High School from 1997 - 2003 and after a stint serving in the RAF has settled on a career as a talent management consultant, working regularly with footballers and clubs across Europe.
Nicky was invited to speak to the boys by the PE department to help them to understand the importance of nutrition, fitness and discipline both on and off the pitch. He also hoped to get the young players to consider the impact decisions they make now may have on their careers for years to come.
He told them how the trainees he sees in Europe regularly practice their craft for 40 hours per week - as opposed to the eight hours which is currently the norm in this country - often combining a range of regimes and sports to build resilience and strength on the field.
The school in West Derby is well known for its sporting prowess but teachers in the PE department have been working hard with colleagues in all subject areas to ensure academic progress is not overlooked via the introduction of the sportsman's progress card.
The card has been in play for four years now and it is used to monitor the attitude, behaviour and academic efforts of the school's most promising sportsmen to ensure they are well-rounded students. Interventions are employed if performance in the classroom begins to slide.
PE teacher Mr Sewill (pictured right with Nicky) arranged the talk, he said: "We try to use sport to inspire students both on and off the pitch and it's a fundamental part of our ethos. The response from the boys after this session was immediate and I'd like to thank Nicky for taking the time to come and see us. Hopefully this will become a regular feature and he'll be back to check up on progress and speak to the next generation of footballers at Cardinal Heenan in the near future."
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