Balcombe Primary School pupils meet an Olympic gold medallist

A Tokyo 2020 Olympic gold medallist surprised Balcombe Primary School children recently by popping in before she went back to Canada.

Monday, 20th September 2021, 1:28 pm

Andrea Proske, a member of the Canadian Women’s Eight rowing team, talked to Year Four and Six pupils in two classes about her journey towards Olympic victory.

The youngsters were amazed to learn that the 35-year-old had only started rowing eight years ago and that she fell out of her canoe a lot at first.

The pupils asked Andrea questions like ‘what was the food like in the Olympic village?’ and ‘what happens after the race?’, said head teacher Wendy Millbanks.

Andrea Proske, a Tokyo 2020 Olympic Gold Medalist, visited Balcombe Primary School. Picture: Balcombe Primary School.

“Her enthusiasm, dedication and self belief were obvious to the children and meeting with Andrea has undoubtedly taught them lots about determination and resilience,” she said.

The pupils also had the chance to hold a genuine Olympic gold medal and get Andrea’s autograph.

“Many of the pupils at Balcombe CE Primary love sport and would like to become professional athletes,” said Wendy.

“The visit from Andrea Proske will certainly inspire them to face their fears and chase their dreams,” she added.

Andrea Proske, a Tokyo 2020 Olympic Gold Medalist, visited Balcombe Primary School. Picture: Balcombe Primary School.

Andrea had been staying in Balcombe with Mostyn Field, a former Ardingly Rowing Club coach, and a Great Britain International and 1986 Commonwealth Games Bronze medallist.

Andrea Proske with with Mostyn Field. Picture: Balcombe Primary School.
Andrea Proske, a Tokyo 2020 Olympic Gold Medalist, visited Balcombe Primary School. Picture: Balcombe Primary School.
Andrea Proske, a Tokyo 2020 Olympic Gold Medalist, visited Balcombe Primary School. Picture: Balcombe Primary School.