Inspirational Rugby League Wheelchair Star visits St Benedict’s School

The students of St Benedict’s School in Whitehaven have this week enjoyed an exciting visit from Wheelchair Rugby League star, James Simpson.

James plays for his hometown team, Leeds Rhinos, as well as playing for the England wheelchair Rugby League side.

He was visiting the school to speak to the students about his experiences both playing rugby, and serving in the Army.  He lost both his legs during an Army patrol in Afghanistan eight years ago and refused to let the life changing injury break his spirit.

James spent some time with Year 8 Boys’ for their PE lesson on the brand new 3G pitch, and also got a tour of the new facilities for St Benedict’s by Head of PE, Miss Lisa Powe. She commented:

“Having James with us in school today demonstrated to our students that with hard work, determination and belief, we can all achieve success.” 

“When circumstances change new opportunities develop & we just have to be brave enough to give them a go.  James is a true inspiration as both a sportsman, and person. Our students admired his drive; hopefully it will push them forward with their own personal challenges.”

James with a group of Year 8 Boys during their PE lesson

A group of students from Years 9, 10 & 11 listened to James talk about his experiences, and then had a chance to ask some questions and get some advice for their careers going forward.

James had one piece of advice for the students, which was to ‘keep going.’ He said:

“Set yourself a long term goal, and break it down into shorter tasks and before you know it, you will achieve what you set out to.”

The students were all thoroughly engaging with James, and asked some interesting questions.

Mr Bridgman, Acting Head Teacher at St Benedict’s School said:

“It was a pleasure to have James visit the school today, and talk to our students. He was a real inspiration and I could see from all the questions he was asked, that the students found his story interesting and motivating.”

James Simpson with Alan Davidson from Cumbria Rugby League
James pictured with some of the students he was talking to

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