We were very pleased in May to welcome to Ipswich High School for Girls, Olympic gold medal winning hockey captain Kate Richardson-Walsh for a truly inspirational day and evening.
Kate Richardson-Walsh is the most capped female player in Great Britain and had the honour of being the Team GB flag bearer at the closing ceremony in Rio 2016 after captaining the women's field hockey team through their undefeated run and eventual gold medal. Last year she was the first hockey player to be nominated for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award and has been nominated for a place in the European Hockey Hall of Fame.
Kate led a hockey masterclass for our hockey players and then took part in a Q&A session with girls throughout the School. Pupils asked her about her inspirations, motivations and plans for the future. An honest and engaging approach from Kate gave the girls an incredible insight into an Olympian's approach to sport and life. In the evening Kate joined pupils, parents and staff for the annual Sports Dinner to celebrate the achievements of our pupils in sport over the past year.
International honours in Skiing: Alexa for her success in GB skiing
Most improved sportswomen: Nia and Natalie
Contribution to school sport: Cara, particularly for her swimming achievements
Sixth Form Players' Player: Connie, for all sports but particularly Sixth Form netball
Outstanding Sportswoman: Nia for her success across tennis, hockey, netball, rounders and athletics
Ipswich High School for Girls on Desert Island Discs
Former Ipswich High School pupil, actress June Brown, recently featured as a guest on the BBC's Desert Island Discs, sharing the eight records she would take with her to a desert island. June approached Mrs Chillingworth, Director of Music and asked if the School choirs could perform a rendition of 'O Brother Man', one of her favourite hymns which she fondly recalls singing during her time at Ipswich High School in the 1930s and 1940s.
Mrs Chillingworth, Director of Music recounted her conversation with June on the telephone:
"June had a clear idea of how she wanted the hymn to be sung by the choir and gave me some specific direction for the performance. She recalled her time at Ipswich High School and how she used to sing this hymn as a lullaby for her six small children. We were delighted to follow her direction and perform the song for her Desert Island Discs appearance."
June Brown was born in Suffolk in 1927 and came to Ipswich High School for Girls on a Scholarship. After school, she was classically trained at the Old Vic and became a hardworking actress despite having a large family. June is best known for her role as Dot Cotton (now Dot Branning) on the BBC TV soap EastEnders, a part she has played since 1985. June was awarded an MBE for services to drama and charity in 2008.