Paralympian Inspires Pupils
Former professional footballer Alistair Patrick-Heselton shares his incredible story of perseverance and determination with Senior School pupils.
Former professional footballer Alistair Patrick-Heselton shared his incredible story of perseverance and determination with Senior School pupils when he visited Kimbolton on Friday (24th March). The talented striker was highly rated as a young footballer, playing for Wycombe Wanderers and Queen’s Park Rangers. Aged just 23, he was involved in a horrific vehicle smash that left him in a coma, and claimed the life of his best friend.
Despite being told by doctors that he may never walk again, Alistair’s tenacity and hard work saw him gradually regain his health. Keen to make the most of life, he made his Team GB debut in 2011 before playing a crucial role in the lead up to the 2012 BT Paralympic World Cup final. He represented Team GB in the London 2012 Paralympic Games, with a career high scoring against Argentina.
Alistair gave a series of talks to Ingrams and Sixth Form pupils, before a lively Q&A session with our Sports Captains and selected Middles’ sports players. Topics covered included teamwork, resilience, goal setting, and personal accountability. He encouraged pupils to develop a vision of their future potential to raise their aspirations, and discussed the life skills they might need to overcome setbacks. He was accompanied on his visit by his agent, former Kimbolton School pupil Lauren Ferdinand (OK15).
Creag Lawrence, Kimbolton School Director of Sport, said meeting Alastair was a fantastic opportunity for pupils.
He said: “Alistair’s focus is to help youngsters believe in themselves, to be ambitious and to find the resilience to cope with life’s challenges, big and small. Our pupils were clearly inspired by his enthusiasm and energy, hopefully gaining a new sense of purpose for their own sporting, academic and personal goals.”
Alistair was inducted in the National Football Museum Hall of Fame in 2017, where he received the Football For All Award. Today he acts as a mentor for schoolchildren and the next generation of footballers, working with The Professional Footballers' Association, Premier League and regional Football Associations to guide and inspire youngsters across the country.