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Simi Pam inspires sports stars of the future

Ahead of Bears Women’s final home game of the season at Ashton Gate, Bears Prop Simi Pam attended the Clifton High School’s annual Sports Awards Dinner last week and shared with them her insight into juggling the demands of study and sport.

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Pam presented winners of the annual awards and gave a speech on the highs and lows of a successful sporting career.

“It’s been brilliant to come and talk to the pupils and their parents afterwards, of what it’s like to be a professional sportsperson and juggle that with the demands of being a doctor.  

“When I was at school, I did so many different sports, gymnastics was my first love, then athletics but it was only when I went to university, here in Bristol, that I played rugby for the first time and I just fell in love with it.

“It’s given me a second family and friendships that have so positively influenced my life. A lot of the time I get asked by youngsters – ‘how do I go about becoming a professional athlete?’. The answer is dedication, organisation and a lot of hard work. Ultimately if you want something you have to find a way to get it and make it work. Everyone said I couldn’t be a doctor and be a professional rugby player and yet here I am!”

James Taylor, Clifton High’s Director Of Sport said: “It’s been such a pleasure to host Simi and have her present the awards and give this awe-inspiring talk. We heard her at the Bristol Sport Gala Dinner, and she came across as such an incredible ambassador for sport and for girls in particular, that we knew we wanted to get her to come and address our pupils.

“Her advice on how to combine studies with sport really gave them a valuable insight into what it takes to be a successful athlete and have a professional career. I think some of them think it’s an either / or and she’s proof that it doesn’t have to be that way.”

Amongst the sports awards presented was one to swimmer Sean Simmons. The 17-year-old is Clifton High’s first recipient of the Bristol Sport Swim Scholarship and had to miss the evening due to swimming in the weekend’s Regional Swimming Championships in Plymouth.

A successful weekend ensued as Simmons broke the County Record and qualified for the British National Swimming Championships this summer.

Director of Swimming Jez Birds said: “We’re delighted for Sean and his performance at the weekend. He’s booked his place in four different events at British Champs and he posted some great times.

“To have three PBs (personal bests) in the 100m Fly, the 100m Back and the 50m Back was brilliant. He’s trained really hard since joining the Clifton High programme and the times have reflected that commitment.


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