20 March 2017Woldingham School

“Think about what you can do – not what you can’t”

Anne Dickins MBE, gold medallist at Rio Paralympics for paracanoeing, was this year’s speaker at Woldingham School's Parents and Staff Association (WPSA) annual Dineen Lecture.

Anne Dickins MBE, gold medallist at Rio Paralympics for paracanoeing, World Record holder for 200m flat water sprint, winner of two World Championships and three European Championships, spoke to pupils and staff at Woldingham School this week.

The school were spellbound as Anne explained that following a life changing injury and as a result of volunteering at the London Olympics, she decided to train for paracanoeing in order to represent England at the Rio 2016 Paralympics. Anne was a working mum in her forties, who had never sat in a boat before, suffered from sea sickness and didn’t like sport at school. Anne firmly believes that she has learnt resilience through the challenges in her life and that it is this attribute that has directly contributed to her success.

The girls also learnt that small changes, hard work, optimism and not being afraid to ask for help all contribute to success in any field. Tiny increments can and do make a difference. The planning for the Rio games was meticulous and included weather monitoring and opting to practise in particularly gruelling conditions. Anne encouraged us all to choose our attitude, to see the positives and to think about what we can achieve rather than what we can’t.

Chair of the parents and staff association, Marion Hall said: "This was a truly inspiring lecture. Anne Dickins demonstrated through examples in her life how determination, resilience and optimism make a tangible difference to results. We are thrilled that she shared her story with Woldingham girls at our annual Dineen Lecture."

Founded in 1842 by the Society of the Sacred Heart, Woldingham is a leading independent boarding and day school and one of the oldest girls’ schools in the UK.

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