We were delighted to see, alumna, Emma Wilson, come back to Ballard. Emma won a bronze medal in the RS:X windsurfing event at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, which were held in Japan this summer. Emma also won the RS:X event at the Youth Sailing World Championships in 2016 and 2017, and then won medals at both the 2018 and 2019 RS:X European Championships.

Emma was at Ballard from Year 3 to Year 6 and one of her highlights was playing in Mr Whalen’s football team, having never played football previously. They won the Ballard Festival against the odds by beating an incredibly strong Oakfield side. Emma loved playing football as well as hockey but wasn’t so keen on cross country, so was very impressed by our Year 5 & 6 pupils as they smiled through their inter-house cross country competition.

Emma remembered a number of teachers including Mr Winch, Mr and Mrs Marshall and Mrs Taylor. She remembers climbing the trees in the tree line and we even went to visit her old classroom where our current Year 3 pupils were learning about teamwork and that by ‘working together it’s no problem at all’ which was very apt.

Emma loved meeting all our pupils and spent a huge amount of time signing autographs and letting pupils look at and wear her medal. She mentioned that she didn’t attend the big Olympic welcome party with all the other athletes in London as she much prefers spending time with children and would rather come back to Ballard and meet our pupils. She is going for Gold in Paris 2024 on a new foiling windsurfer, so we will all be behind her and hope to see her back at Ballard with the Gold medal.

In the meantime, here are a couple of pieces of advice that Emma shared with our pupils:
“Carry on with your dreams.” “Believe in yourself and keep enjoying it.”