Feb 21 2013 by Rob Pattinson, Ormskirk Advertiser
YOUNGSTERS were treated to a sporting masterclass when an England international football star visited their school.
Sue Smith, who has been capped 93 times for her country, spent a morning at Ormskirk School last Tuesday.
The women’s football star – who has notched 16 goals for England – is currently playing for Doncaster Rovers Belles, and visited the school as a Sky Sports Living for Sport Athlete Mentor.
Speaking about her role, Sue, who has also done media work and commentary for BBC Sport, said: “I believe as Athlete Mentors we provide a different voice to communicate with students, and perhaps through our experiences as sports people, we can convey the challenges we have overcome to achieve success.
‘‘I hope that by sharing the setbacks I have faced in my own career, the students can relate this to their own lives and realise that although there may be hard times ahead, their dreams are always within reach.”
Around 50 students had the opportunity to train with Sue and she put them through their paces with a variety of drill and skills sessions. She also worked with the BTEC PE class, looking at setting goals and striving to achieve your personal best.
Sue finished the day with a lunch with the Sports Council who asked her some great questions, including who her role model was growing up – Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs – and what was her greatest achievement to date: the FIFA World All Stars.
Laura Goff, the school sports co-ordinator, said: “It was a fantastic opportunity to have an international athlete visit school and work with our students. Sue was a real inspiration and role model, students have had a chance to train with a top-class footballer, which is something not many people can say they have done.
“She gave a really strong message to students to believe in themselves and write their own futures.”
Sue began her career at Wirral side Tranmere Rovers, when she made her England debut, before going on to play for Lincoln Ladies and then Leeds United.
She has twice had to come back from serious injury, having broken a leg in 2002 and damaged knee ligaments after joining the Belles in 2011.