Every year I include several quotes for the children in my talk at the Year 6 Leavers’ Service.  I hope the quotes will help to motivate and encourage them for the future.  No doubt most quickly forget them, but perhaps part of a phrase will be remembered at a point that’s helpful in the future.  This year, given the Olympics, I decided I would like to use quotes from international athletes.  A quick search using Twitter lead me to an excellent selection.  I wondered which athletes the children would know and therefore how much impact each quote might have.

Whilst searching for quotes I was watching the Men’s Singles Final at Wimbledon and then a thought came to me.  What if I could  get some international British athletes to send a quote specially for our children!  This would make it more personal and powerful for them and hopefully they might remember the main points from the quotes more easily.

Within minutes of tweeting I had quotes back from two very well-known British athletics.  I was delighted, but even better was to come.  A member of the current Team GB asked me what the focus of my talk was and then suggested some poems as well as giving some quotes; amazing!

Imagine the scene the next morning, Year 6 are sitting in front of me with their parents behind them and I say I have some quotes for them.  I then say they have been sent for them by international British athletes.  It was a magical moment,  their faces lit up with biggest smiles you have ever seen and noises of delight were heard! I wish I had had a camera to capture the moment.  They hung onto every word as I read the tweets.  Afterwards parents came up to me, totally amazed that such well know sportsmen and sportswomen had responded.  ‘Did they actually send the quotes specially for our children?’ ‘They didn’t really did they?’ ‘Yes,’ I said, ‘I can show you them on my ‘phone if you like?’ but nobody needed any further convincing.

It was so very touching that the athletes had taken the time to respond.  I am sure the quotes and poems will be much more memorable for everyone this year!  So if you have a leavers’ service talk to give, why not use Twitter to assist you and maybe see if an athlete or two will give a quote for your children/young people.