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Stewards Academy

Stewards Academy

Science Specialist

Year 8 Olympic Assembly

2012 Olympic Assembly

On Tuesday 2nd October, Year 8 pupils of Stewards Academy were privileged to have the opportunity to meet a very special guest named Jeanne Stacey, who had the great honour of representing Harlow as an official torch bearer for the 2012 Olympic Games over the summer. 

Jeanne is a Drama teacher who was nominated by a work colleague for this prestigious role, in recognition of the dedication and passion that she has demonstrated to hundreds of pupils over her long-standing career in education. She was invited to speak in assembly as part of a motivational initiative to raise aspirations amongst our young people and pupils were not only given the opportunity to listen to her experiences about carrying the flame, but were also able to see and touch the Olympic torch that passed through their home town and pose questions to Jeanne about what it felt like to be part of an Olympic legacy.

Jeanne’s story was truly inspirational and the sentiment in her speech was very powerful. She talked about the pride that she felt when she received the call that her application had been successful and expressed the overwhelming sense of emotion that swept through her when she represented her country in the Olympic torch relay. She modelled the standard white tracksuit with the Olympic grey rings as a symbol of the journey involved in bringing the Olympic Games to London and showed off the actual torch that was used in the relay to unite the country in the 2012 Olympic Dream. 

Students related well to Jeanne’s story as most saw some, if not all of the Olympics and Paralympic Games. They listened carefully to the whole process leading up to, during and after the event and asked a variety of questions about this experience to understand the true scale of this opportunity. Examples of questions directed included: 

Þ      Why she was nominated to be an Olympic torch bearer?

Þ      What skills, qualities or characteristics were essential in fulfilling this role?

Þ      Where the design for the torch came from and what was it meant to reflect?

Þ      How heavy was the torch and how easy was it to carry whilst running?

Þ      What sort of training did she do to prepare for this event?

Þ      How did she feel before, during and after the race? 

Jeanne was extremely humbled by this experience and pupils were undoubtedly moved by her story. Out of hundreds and thousands of applicants Jeanne was selected to represent her country and carry the Olympic flame on behalf of Harlow town and this transpired as a result of the hard work, passion and commitment that Jeanne demonstrates in her everyday teaching. 

Jeanne didn’t know what she wanted to be at 13 years old and didn’t have any more opportunities than anyone else her age to shine, she simply worked hard to achieve her potential and set her sights high for the future. Jeanne is an ordinary woman with an ordinary background, who was born and bred in Harlow, but the dedication she has shown in her career for inspiring others has been extra-ordinary. 

The key message behind this assembly was that ‘you only get out of life, what you are prepared to put in’ and that ‘nothing is impossible if you want something enough, you just have to work hard to achieve it!’ 

Thank you to Jeanne for giving up her time to come in to Stewards Academy and speak about her experience. I know I am speaking on behalf of our entire year group when I say it was a truly inspirational assembly! 

Miss Holden