Tim Prendergast visits George Green’s school ahead of London Paralympics

A gold medal-winning Paralympian has paid a visit to an Isle of Dogs school ahead of this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic games.

Tim Prendergast, who won gold in the 800m event at Athens 2004, visited George Green’s school last week to give a talk on the experience of losing his sight at a young age, and how athletics provided him with a chance to succeed despite his disability.

The 33-year-old New-Zealander is set to compete in his fourth Paralympics in London this summer, and gave his talk to some of the lucky students who will participate in the closing ceremony, as well as some of the students who have represented the school’s sports teams.

Prendergast also spoke to the students about his dramatic collapse in the 5000m race at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, which resulted in him being hospitalised for four days.

PE teacher Sola Aboweru said the students gained a lot from the experience, and that the school was looking forward to continuing its build-up to the Olympics. He said: “His talk was motivational and inspiring as it wasn’t all about the winning.

“Some of our students have been lucky enough to be picked to be part of the Olympics Closing ceremony and the school is focusing on the coming Olympics with lots of excitement.”

George Green’s recently hit the headlines for its decision to offer sixth form students the chance to sit the International Baccalaureate as an alternative to A-levels.