THE HEADTEACHER of Hanbury C of E First School journeys to Hungary this week with his Worcester Rowing Club teammates to compete against teams from all over the world.
The school’s pupils wished Andrew Payne well as he departed with his fist two races taking place tomorrow – the first day of the FISA World Rowing Masters Championships.
He will be part of a team of four, then later eight rowers aiming to triumph over crews from Germany, Russia, The Netherlands and others.
He will take part in three more races at the competition which ends on Sunday.
Mr Payne is hoping his opportunity will inspire pupils at Hanbury School.
He said: “Like many children, I wasn’t a natural footballer or cricketer but was very fortunate to take up rowing at an early age.
“It has been a fantastic sport for me.
“Rowing has helped with my physical and mental wellbeing, it inspired me to go to Loughborough University and has given me countless opportunities to compete at regattas all over the country – and now Europe.
“I know we have a lot of children at Hanbury who enjoy sport – some at high levels, others just for fun.
“I strongly believe we should be encouraging everyone to find a physical activity they enjoy, whether they want a happy, healthy lifestyle or to be the next Olympic champion.”
Mr Payne’s ethos is shared by everyone at the school, which recently retained its nationally-recognised Gold Schools Games Award.
PE lessons are of a high standard and offer a diverse range of activities.
Teachers have been trained in a new ‘Real PE’ programme which challenges each child to build on their own level of skill whilst over the last year visiting coaches have delivered lessons in Zumba, golf, yoga, football, street dance, skipping and hockey.
Ahead of his trip to Hungary, Mr Payne talked about his favourite sport during a special assembly this week.
The children enjoyed hearing about his achievements and will be keeping track of his progress via the regatta website: wrmr2019.hu and via his own Twitter handle: @MrPayneRowing