17th September 2021
On Thursday 16th September, in the first of our evening series of Bridewell Talks organised together with our partner prep school and nursery Barrow Hills, we were delighted to welcome Double Olympic Silver Medallist Jazz Carlin to King Edward’s. She gave an inspirational presentation to prep and primary school parents about the importance of mental wellbeing.
Earlier on during the afternoon, Jazz had shared words of wisdom first in a lecture to some of our 3rd and 4th Form girls, followed a presentation for our King Edward’s ‘Elite Performance Pathway‘ pupils. The Elite Performance Pathway (EPP) is a unique programme designed to extend and stretch our most able pupils. Our sports scholars are automatically enrolled in the programme as well as a small number of pupils who have demonstrated outstanding aptitude in their sport throughout their time here. To conclude her time with our pupils, she ran a swimming masterclass in our pool for our King Edward’s swim squad joined by twelve boys and girls from Barrow Hills School.
Throughout the day, Jazz was openly honest about her journey to success, emphasising that throughout her years of training and practice, it was hugely important to keep her mental focal engaged.
“If you looked at me in the pool, you wouldn’t have seen me as a stand-out swimmer, but I loved it”, Jazz said speaking about the importance of never giving up on your dream.
Jazz spoke about how she has become engrossed in swimming from an early age, “Ever since I can remember, I have said I wanted to be in the water, it quickly became that enjoyable place with my Dad. Both of my parents have bought that positivity to my life. I always have fond memories of sport from a very young age having been bought up with a healthy lifestyle, however looking back it was definitely the best thing for me.”
Jazz was joined in the evening by her parents, Roger and Mary which was a touching moment as this was the first time her father had seen her give a presentation about her life history. Their pride about their daughter’s success was evident and her mother said, “it’s been amazing, we didn’t know where Jazz’s journey would take us and I wouldn’t have changed it at all.”
Jazz was open about her struggles which included being diagnosed with glandular fever. Although this was an obstacle on her journey, she spoke honestly about how she overcame this setback liking it to a ‘speedbump’ in the road. Happily, this situation resulted in a desire to pursue her dream even more. “I had that motivation and hunger to improve and to reach the next medal.”
The 2012 UK Olympics was an event that Jazz missed qualifying for by a few tenths of a second, a time in her life that caused her to feel “numb”. However, the support she received from her parents, her coach and her friends kept her going. This situation had led her to question whether swimming was the right career and something she still wanted to do, but admitted it’s completely normal to feel these emotions.
The following morning was Jazz’s birthday and our incredible Music Department gave Jazz a wonderful surprise!
Such a beautiful surprise yesterday from my visit at King Edwards Witley for my birthday today.
Thank you so much ❤️ pic.twitter.com/x4KBnK3eHs
— Jazz Carlin (@JazzCarlin) September 17, 2021
Thank you so much Jazz for an amazing day, you are truly an inspiration!
We now look forward to the second event in our series of Bridewell Talks for prep and primary parents, which will be held at Barrow Hills School in the Spring Term.