Talbot Heath school welcomed back former pupil and tennis ace, Emma Smith, to speak at the annual Speech Day awards ceremony last week. Emma, who is currently living in London and working for Nike as a product and brand specialist, spoke about the positive memories she has of the school: ‘School work, tennis, family and friends was a lot to balance and what made it possible was the support of my tremendous family, friends and an ever encouraging and understanding school.’ Miss Smith left TH in 2008 after taking her A-Levels and was offered a sports scholarship at a university in the US, in Alabama, to further her tennis, before returning to the UK a year later to study Sport Science and Management at Loughborough University. On stage, she congratulated the sixth form leavers who are about to take up their own university places, and also congratulated this year's GCSE pupils, alongside many other award winners ranging from the arts, sports and business, to mathematics and science.
Earlier in the day Emma met with a number of Talbot Heath’s future sporting stars who are all competing at national level in their respective sports to discuss school, sportswear and how best to balance their various commitments. Pictured above are: Martha Pawson (cross-country and athletics), Ella Pusey (football), Serena Sutherland (shot put, discus, indoor rowing and weightlifting), Izzy Wedderburn (athletics and long jump) and Charlotte Wittram (volleyball and indoor rowing).
The audience were left with inspirational words from Emma, echoing the Nike strapline; she said, ‘If you really want to go after something and believe in yourself, then go after it and chase it. Everything I put in during my years at Talbot Heath, from long hours revising to extra tennis lessons or music practice has made me a stronger and more determined individual for what I believe I can now achieve. Just do it!’
Thanks go to Emma Smith for presenting at the Speech Day celebrations and congratulations go to all of this year’s award winners for their fantastic achievements.