Helena's story inspires young pupils to excel

Oxford Mail: Paralympic sailor, Helena Lucas, chats with pupils, left to right, Jasper Simpson-Orlebar, 12; Freddie Hodge, 13; George Reid, 13 and Ben Fletcher, 13 Paralympic sailor, Helena Lucas, chats with pupils, left to right, Jasper Simpson-Orlebar, 12; Freddie Hodge, 13; George Reid, 13 and Ben Fletcher, 13

HELENA Lucas, part of the British sailing team for the London 2012 Paralympics, has told her life story to pupils at a boys’ school near Abingdon.

Ms Lucas, 37, who started sailing at the age of eight, competes in the 2.4mR class and gave a talk to boys at Cothill House school yesterday.

She has joined the Sonar crew of John Robertson, Hannah Stodel, Stephen Thomas, Alex Rickham, and Niki Burrell to compete in the Paralympics.

Ms Lucas was born with a disability that affects both her thumbs.

In a talk to about 160 pupils aged eight to 13, Ms Lucas told pupils how her parents had taken her ‘kicking and screaming’ to sailing lessons when she was a child, but she went on to love the sport after winning her first regatta.

She added: “A medal of any colour is a good result.”

Head boy George Reid, 13, from Aston Rowant, near Thame, said: “I really enjoyed meeting Helena with the other boys — her talk has inspired me to do well in sports.”

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