News - Olympic Gold Medal Winner Anna Watkins visits Westwood

Anna Watkins Visit

On Friday 23 November Olympic Champion Rower and Ex-Westwood student, Anna Watkins returned to College almost four years since she last called in following her exploits at the Beijing Olympics. 

While her Gold Medal attracted lots of attention and many snatched photos, it was Anna herself who stole the show. During the course of the morning she gave talks and answered questions with different groups of students and staff and captivated everyone involved. She gave talks to all of Year 9, 10 and 11 and spent almost an hour with Year 12 and 13 PE students. Her open and honest account of how she came to rowing, her training, performing as an Olympic Athlete and the nature of becoming a celebrity fascinated and inspired every audience.

While here, she kindly donated some items for an Olympic time capsule that she buried in the grounds with the help of some Year 9 students, Mandy Bennett, Chair of Governors and prominent leaders from Staffordshire County Council County, Council Leader Philip Atkins, Chief Executive Nick Bell and Local County Councillor Gill Heath.

Along with news articles from the local press, commemorative coins and stamps and some poetry inspired by Anna’s achievements, written by the year 9 students, the time capsule contained an Olympic rowing suit signed by Anna and her rowing partner Katherine Grainger and also a Paralympic Tee shirt and cap signed and donated by Lee Pearson, Westwood’s other Olympic Champion.

Seeing ex-students achieve success is always rewarding; to see that success inspire the next generation is a real pleasure. Anna’s visit certainly provided lots of that.


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