Olympians’ father hands out advice at school Speech Day

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The father of two-time Yorkshire Olympic triathletes Jonathan and Alistair Brownlee encouraged pupils at Harrogate’s Belmont Grosvenor to ‘believe in yourselves’ and ‘take every opportunity that arises’ when he presented prizes at the school’s annual Speech Day.

Dr Keith Brownlee, proud dad to the world-famous athletes, was guest of honour at the school’s annual Prize Giving and Speech Day event, held in a marquee on the Head’s Lawn.

Speaking to pupils, staff, parents and invited guests, Dr Brownlee said he had consulted his two famous sons for advice to offer children at Belmont Grosvenor School and the boys had come up with a six-point plan which had helped them follow their dreams, including work hard to achieve more.

“Jonny and Alistair are just two ordinary boys, no different to any one of you, who went to a school very similar to this one,“ said Dr Brownlee.

“They were keen for me to pass on their six tips in life which they felt were very important, and helped ensure that something that began as a hobby for them, became a career,” he said.

Brownlee tips for success to Belmont Grosvenor School pupils included learning from early on that the harder you work at something, the more you get out of it, and understanding that life will be full of opportunities, but it is your responsibility to take them!

Dr Brownlee added; “There is nothing special about Olympic athletes, or famous actors, or musicians, or film stars – they are just like you or me, but they have the determination and confidence to fulfill their dreams,” he said.

Belmont Grosvenor School headteacher Jane Merriman outlined pupils’ achievements throughout the academic year – and praised the rounded education on offer to pupils at the Harrogate school, based at Swarcliffe Hall, Birstwith.

“I believe our children benefit form the rounded education that we offer and leave BGS fully equipped academically, culturally, and socially and are of good character to flourish in the world they will inherit. But the most important thing is that they are happy,” she said.