Paralympian star visits Sandwick

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Paralympian Emma Wiggs with pupils at Sandwick Junior High School. Photo: Dave Donaldson

Paralympian Emma Wiggs with pupils at Sandwick Junior High School. Photo: Dave Donaldson

Pupils at Sandwick Junior High School have enjoyed a day to remember – with a visit from Great Britain Paralympian Emma Wiggs.

Wiggs, who starred as a sitting volleyball player in London 2012, is now hungry for medal success in Rio in 2016 after swapping her volleyball for a kayak and bagging medals in her new venture.

In her first visit to Shetland she met with a range of pupils – from S3 youngsters, to whom she passed on advice, to primary children who quizzed her on her like of Jaffa Cakes.

Wiggs said it was incredible to be in the isles and have the chance to interact with young people from a different environment.

“Youngsters are enthusiastic wherever I go; and particularly in Shetland they’ve been really keen to get involved and learn some of the things we can bring to them.”

The sporting star said the project was not just about achieving sporting success – it was to pass on tips that pupils could use in their day to day lives.

Wiggs spoke of “six keys to success” – including mental toughness, people skills and a hunger to achieve. “Success is down to good choices, whether it be in sport or music or good jobs,” she said.

As part of her busy schedule, she also took a sitting volleyball session – to give students an insight into the sport. “I still use sitting volleyball because it’s a really good way to introduce youngsters to disability sport and inclusive sport,” Wiggs said.

The Sandwick visit was part of the Sky Sports Living For Sport programme and Wiggs is one of 50 athlete mentors who share their life stories and inspire pupils.

PE teacher Joan Smith had run a Sky Sports Living For Sport project at the school – taking a group of students through badminton sessions.

Wiggs’ visit was a result of the coaching and she met the budding badminton pupils. Mrs Smith said it had been fantastic experience for all the students involved.

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