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Sporting heroes inspire Easton College students

PUBLISHED: 07:00 15 January 2010 | UPDATED: 07:28 02 July 2010

The gold medals of British olympian David Hemery and paralympian Danny Crates this week helped inspire hundreds of students at Easton College towards achieving their goals in life.

The gold medals of British olympian David Hemery and paralympian Danny Crates this week helped inspire hundreds of students at Easton College towards achieving their goals in life.

The gold medals of British olympian David Hemery and paralympian Danny Crates helped inspire hundreds of students at Easton College towards achieving their goals in life.

The gold medals of British olympian David Hemery and paralympian Danny Crates helped inspire hundreds of students at Easton College towards achieving their goals in life.

The two former athletes are part of a national initiative using the London Olympics in 2012 to motivate a new generation of young people to do the best they can in life.

Easton is the first college in the UK to take part and more than 60 students gathered to hear from the two medalists how to focus on their dreams and make them come true.

Wednesday's visit will be followed by a college programme giving all students - whether sporting, land-based or academic - time and special tutoring each week towards achieving their ambitions.

Hemery said the aim was to provide an educational and motivational legacy from the London Olympics which would last young people a lifetime.

Impressed by the enthusiasm of the 16-18 year olds he met at Easton, he said: “Everyone has something special or unique in them and this programme is designed to bring it out. We want it to become part of the students' agenda as well as that of the college.”

Hemery's track career peaked with a gold medal in the 400m hurdles at the 1968 Mexico Olympics and he showed the students a DVD of that historic achievement to set the ball rolling.

They also heard former rugby player Danny Crates' own inspirational story from the moment he lost an arm in a horrific accident in Australia in 1964.

He went on to become the only known arm amputee playing club rugby in the country and, turning his attention to athletics, he used his speed in the T46 400m arm amputee class to become a 2004 Paralympics Champion, European Champion, Paralympics World Cup winner and world record holder.

David Lawrence, Easton College Principal, said: “I was determined that our college would be among the first in line as the 'Be The Best You Can Be' initiative begins to roll out. The inspiration offered by our olympians and paralympians who strive to achieve their goal is incredibly powerful and can really reach out and touch young people today.”

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