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Gold medal winner Heather Frederiksen inspires Lowton Church of England High students
9:54am Monday 25th February 2013 in News
PARALYMPIC gold medallist Heather Frederiksen went back to her old school to relate her remarkable success story to pupils at Lowton Church of England High.
The 27 year-old swimmer, who won gold at London 2012, thrilled her young audience on Friday with tales of he involvement in the Beijing and London Paralympics.
Leigh girl Heather brought in her gold and two silver medals which she allowed students to try for size.
Heather, who is currently training hard for the World Championships, said: “It's great to be back at my old school. It has changed a bit since I was here but it is still the place that gave me a great start with my swimming career.
“It's wonderful that the young people are so interested in my success and I'm really proud that they have asked me to come along today. The students asked some really good questions and it's really great they have taken such an interest in my career.”
The gold effect certainly rubbed off on the students, all of whom were inspired by Heather's question and answer session.
Keen swimmer Kasie Hunter, 14,was one of the lucky ones to get her hands on Heather's medal collection.
“She's fantastic!” said Kasie. “She has shown us that you can do amazing things if you put your mind to it and work hard. Listening to Heather has made me determined to try even harder.”
The assembly heard how Heather was a successful 'open water' swimmer until a serious accident in 2004 left her spending some time in a wheelchair and with limited use of her right arm and leg.
Despite being told by doctors that she would never swim again, she was inspired by other Paralympic athletes to continue to train.
Her tally of medals includes Gold in the 100m backstroke at Beijing, Gold in the 100m backstroke and silver in the 100m and 400m freestyle events at London.
She also holds the 100 m backstroke world record, 50m freestyle world record, the 100 m freestyle world record, the 200 m freestyle world record and the 400 m freestyle world record. Heather was awarded the MBE in the 2013 New Year Honours for Services to Swimming.
After her talk, Heather was presented with a bouquet of flowers by head boy and girl Jack Horan and Annie Hopley.
Lowton Church of England High School Deputy Head Ann Garner used to teach Heather during PE lessons and was delighted to see her back.
“She was a fantastic student,” said Mrs Garner. “She was a joy to teach and we've followed her career ever since. She did us all proud."