The sun was beaming in the Northamptonshire sky for the Mintridge team’s return to St. Mary’s on Friday 20th April 2018.

Building on the successful silver mentoring programme delivered by our fantastic wheelchair basketball Ambassador, Jordan Jarrett – Bryan in 2017, this time, it was the turn of Danielle Brown MBE to join the wonderful staff and students at St. Mary’s Primary Academy in Burton Latimer. Both programmes could not have taken place without the support of the Margaret Giffen Charitable Trust, thank you very much to all of the trustees for your support.

Upon arrival, Danielle delivered a fascinating assembly on her outstanding sporting career sharing insights on some of the following topics in any walk of life:

  • Preparation
  • The importance of believing in yourself
  • Perseverance
  • Dealing with success and failure
  • Role models

“Who thinks I was good at archery when I started?” Danielle asked the room when she spoke of perseverance and went on to say how she felt that she wasn’t very good at all but through practice and overcoming challenges, she was able to reach the pinnacle in her sport, some of the dazzling highlights which are listed below:

  • 2 x Paralympic Gold Medallist (Beijing 2008 and London 2012)
  • 3 x World Champion – Individual Category (2007, 2009, 2011)
  • 2 x World Champion – Team Event (2007, 2009)
  • Commonwealth Gold Medallist (Delhi 2010)

    Danielle was the first disabled athlete to represent England in the able bodied discipline at this event.

  • European Champion – Individual Category (2010)
  • European Champion – Team Event (2010)
  • Indoor World Cup Gold Medallist – Able Bodied (2012)
  • World Cup Silver Medallist – Able Bodied (2012)
  • World Number One (Entire Career)
  • 12 x World Record Holder
  • Awarded an MBE – Services to Archery (2012 New Year’s Honours List)

Danielle opened the floor to some great questions from the students before heading outside for some highly anticipated archery sessions. First up were the Year 6’s!

Each year group had a session led by the double Paralympic Gold Medallist which started with a visualisation exercise. Danielle explained how often athletes use visualisation as part of their preparation for competition. The students loved trying it and it helped them leading into the archery itself.

Danielle gave a short archery demonstration before the students were each able to have a go themselves, with beginners to regular archery club attendees in each class, Danielle was able to tailor the session accordingly. Great improvement was seen and huge smiles filled everyone’s faces – the sign of pure enjoyment!

As each session drew to a close, it was time for photos and a chance to see Danielle’s Paralympic gold medals once more at a closer distance. What an opportunity for everyone!

Over lunch, Danielle had the pleasure of being interviewed by some brilliant budding sports journalists in the St. Mary’s Sports Crew. The Year 5 students had put great preparation into their questions through their research, the Mintridge team were very impressed. Danielle answered a range of questions on her disability, how she copes with nerves through to how it felt winning gold for the first time.

Following the afternoon sessions, it was time for Danielle to meet her 2018 mentees. Danielle will be mentoring two students remotely for six months through Playwaze and Skype to encourage them through their sporting and educational journeys. The introductory session at the end of the day was a brilliant opportunity for everyone to get to know each a little better, ask any questions and of course delve into their Team Mintridge gift bags which included Danielle’s new book, “The Boy Over The Road”:

It was great for the Mintridge team to catch up with Jordan’s mentees from last year and hopefully the continued support with Danielle will build on this into the next six months and beyond.

Thank you very much to the staff at St. Mary’s for a brilliant day, we loved returning to school again. We would also like to thank a local student from Southfields for your superb support throughout the day helping towards your Duke of Edinburgh award.

If you would like to see the photos and video from the day, please ask your school staff.