Sally Gunnell opens St Albans High School sports pavilion

OLYMPIC gold medallist Sally Gunnell OBE visited a St Albans school last week to open a new sports pavilion.

Visiting St Albans High School for Girls on Townsend Avenue, the former athlete turned TV presenter and motivational speaker, opened the school’s sports pavilion after their previous one was burned to the ground in 2008.

After the official opening, with St Albans Mayor Cllr Aislinn Lee in attendance, Ms Gunnell was invited to speak at the school’s memorial lecture which is held annually in honour of former headmistress, Elizabeth Diggory. Miss Diggory became, at the age of 37, one of the youngest secondary heads in the country.

Ms Gunnell, who has won World, Commonwealth and European gold medals in the 400m hurdles, told senior school pupils and guests about her road to success and the determination and commitment it required.

She urged pupils to feed themselves positive thoughts and told her audience that if they said to themselves they could do something, their minds would soon start to believe it.

Headteacher Rosemary Martin said: “We were delighted that the girls were able to gain valuable inspiration and motivation from a female role model who manages to champion health and fitness for young people and provide a useful insight into achieving a balance of life and proven recipes for success and fulfilment.”