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Year 9 Girls’ Afternoon Tea with Sally Pilbeam

On 22nd August, the Year 9 girls participated in an event which has, in recent years, become almost a rite of passage as the young women transition from Middle to Senior School. The Year 9 Girls’ Afternoon Tea provided the perfect opportunity for female students to gather with both their peers and significant women in their lives to be inspired and motivated by the story of a positive role model within the community.

This year, we had the privilege to share the afternoon with our guest speaker, Sally Pilbeam, an Australian paratriathlete. Sally first competed at the Australian Paratriathlon Championships in 2013. In January 2015, she won the Oceania Paratriathlon Championships PT3 event at Penrith, New South Wales. At the 2015 World Championships Final in Chicago, she won the gold medal in the Women's PT3. Sally left Australia last Sunday to fly to the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Rotterdam.

Sally shared her personal story of being diagnosed with diagnosed with synovial sarcoma, a rare cancer at the age of 21, which led to an immediate and complete amputation of her right arm and shoulder. She had to have intensive occupational and physiotherapy and had to adapt to being one handed and left handed, which in the first three years posed many challenges.

Sally inspired all who were listening to focus on the following:

  1. Setting goals.
  2. Surrounding yourself with positive people and have a good support team of parents, teachers, mentors, coaches and friends.
  3. Perseverance.
  4. Believing.
  5. Working hard.
  6. Succeeding.

Sally also reminded the girls to keep working at their goals, to remember the journey as well as the outcome and to be proud of who they are and what they have achieved.

This afternoon was made very enjoyable due to the efforts of the Café staff, who provided delicious bite-sized savouries and fancy cakes, which were thoroughly appreciated as well as presenting such a lovely looking room. In addition to this, we also give our thanks to Mr Frankish and Mr Connolly who helped prepare the room and organise Sally’s presentation.

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