Middle distance legend and broadcaster, Steve Cram, visited Hummersknott Academy last week to speak to a specially selected group of Academy students, made up from their successful cross country team and a small group of budding sports stars from Abbey and Mowden Primary Schools. The group included several of our Junior Harriers including Abbey pupils Henry Rayner, Hugo Douglas-Reeves and Hummersknott students Harriet Rogers, Louis Brett, Harry and Dylan Wilson, John and Adam Russell, Joe Mulroy, Aimee Caton and Macy Kelly.
He gave a fascinating insight into how he began his career, revealing that becoming a footballer was his initial dream and that athletics became something he slowly got into as a young teenager and steadily developed into.
He gave some great examples of how trying something new and then putting effort and dedication into it can bring great rewards. Viewing himself as a normal person, without any special ability or natural physical gifts, he recalled how he wasn’t initially the best as a youth, but was someone that steadily worked hard and kept at it when others around him didn’t. He candidly told the group that the effort he put in initially wasn’t as much as others around him and his results matched that, so he began to push himself more and began seeing the rewards. He spoke passionately about how having a role model locally in Brendan Foster made him believe that anything was possible
The talk was followed by a Q&A session where the pupils asked about such things as his ‘pre race meals’ before the days of great nutritionist knowledge and his love of the 1500m, finding out that it was his favourite event for, as he jokingly revealed, the “smartest athletes” due to the high demand of tactics involved.
The event ended with a signing session, where the young junior Harriers were particularly keen to get autographs. Henry asked for a number of items to be signed including school PE top and trainers and Hugo his Harriers vest, prompting an anecdote where Steve recalled his first proper race which he didn’t win, but his vivid memory that two Darlington Harriers runners had finished ahead of him in that very race was still very clear in his mind. I wonder who they were!
It was a fascinating insight into many areas of his sporting life and how anyone can apply themselves to benefit their own lives. Great advice for our budding athletes.
Huge thanks go out to Fiona for covering this event for us. Your efforts are very much appreciated!