“An Evening with Adam Peaty” raised over £7,000 with the money going to Foundation Derbyshire, Repton’s Lent charity, and to Sport in Action Zambia, for which Mel Marshall is an ambassador. “Work hard, be dedicated and passionate and you will achieve,” was the inspirational message from world record and Olympic gold medal swimmer Adam Peaty MBE when he and his coach Mel Marshall made a return to Repton.
Speaking in the 400 Hall, Peaty recalled his now famous childhood fear of water and said he wants to use that as a vehicle for inspiring young people and to help raise awareness of the number of people who drown. He also revealed that he knew he would win a gold medal in Rio “because I had imagined it so many times it had to come true. I had been preparing for that moment for at least eight years.” Hearing Michael Phelps describe him as “crazy fast” made him realise, he said, that swimming super powers such as the USA can be touched.
“Stick to your own path, don’t follow any else’s. You will achieve, whether that be an Olympic medal winner, or a doctor, or teacher or anything.”
Peaty used the school as his training base for Rio, spending hours each week in the pool and gym. A live screening of his gold medal victory in Brazil was organised in our Sports Centre and saw family members, City of Derby Swimming Club members and Repton staff watch and celebrate together.Video footage of both the training and screening party were shown during the “An Evening with Adam Peaty” event, which drew a packed audience, including many young swimmers, to Repton.
Speaking of her journey, former Repton School swimming coach Mel Marshall recalled her own highs and lows and the time she has spent coaching and supporting Peaty. She said her ambition is to improve coaching management of athletes and said she believes that sport is a vehicle for change and education.
Looking ahead, Peaty says he is confident he can repeat his gold medal winning performance but in response to a question from the audience about which he was most proud of, his Olympic gold or world record, the answer was a very definite “world record”. “Being the best,” he smiled. He is “overwhelmed” at being awarded an MBE, just seeing himself as a normal person. He can’t, however, collect this particular award in person as he will be competing in America.
The total was boosted by a charity auction at the end of the evening in which a one-to-one swimming lesson with Mel and Adam, light-up trainers from the closing ceremony in Rio and a signed pair of swimming trunks were among the lots.
Commenting on the evening, Repton School’s Director of Sport Ian Pollock said: “It was a pleasure to welcome Mel and Adam back to Repton and to hear the behind the scenes view of their Road to Rio and their life since the games. The positivity, resilience and remarkable strength they show in their day to day work is what allowed them to create those medal winning moments. They are surely one of the strongest coach-athlete pairings in the world of elite sport.”
“We wish them well for the next Olympic cycle and thank them for the significant contribution they have made to Repton School’s chosen charity this term.”