Para-triathlete inspires Ixworth students at annual Achievement Evening

Students at SET Ixworth School, part of the Seckford Education Trust, have been inspired with tales of determination and endeavour from Paralympic athlete and former Royal Marine, Joe Townsend. Mr Townsend was guest speaker at the school’s end-of-year Achievement Evening held on Thursday, December 12, where students of all ages were celebrated for their successes over the last academic year.

Joe Townsend inspired students at SET Ixworth School with his passion for sport and his resilience in the face of adversity, which has led him to become one of the world’s best para-triathletes. After losing both legs in an explosion while on tour in Afghanistan as Royal Marine Commando, Joe was determined to return to his previous fitness level, which led him to become a world-renowned para-triathlete. Joe competed in the Rio Paralympic Games in 2016 and won gold at the ITU World Triathlon Championships in 2017 and 2018. At the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Joe tackled his fear of heights by carrying the Paralympic Flame into the stadium with a dramatic high-wire entrance as part of the opening ceremony.

After sharing his motivational story, Mr Townsend presented awards and prizes to students in Years 7 to 11 for their individual achievements and progress made in academic subjects, and success in extra-curricular activities such as sports and volunteering in the local community.

Former Year 11 student and Head Boy Lucas Measures was presented with the Seckford Award for highest attainment in his GCSE exams. Lucas achieved eight top grade 9s and two grade 8s, taking him one step closer to his dream of working in space as an astroparticle physicist.

Other awards on the night included Sportsman of the Year which went to Luca Gambling for representing the school through a wide range of sports, and the Community Award which was presented to Evan Ogden for his significant contribution to the school and wider community.

Mark Barrow, Headteacher at SET Ixworth School, said: “Congratulations to all students on another brilliant year of individual achievements and successes in academic and extra-curricular activities. The Achievement Evening was a great opportunity to mark the end of 2019 and look back on the past academic year, recognising so many students for their hard work and progress made.

“I’d also like to thank our guest speaker Joe Townsend for joining our celebrations and for sharing his incredible life story, which demonstrates the rewards of being dedicated and committed to achieving success.”