Portsmouth High School celebrated its sporting successes for the year with an evening of celebration.
Guest speaker, Mollie Hughes, the youngest women in the world and the first English women to summit Mount Everest from both sides, spoke to the girls, parents, staff and VIP guests about her passion for adventure and achievement.
With the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor Lee Mason, Mollie started the evening by formally opening the Climbing Wall situated in the all England sized sports hall at Portsmouth High School.
‘There are three things that I embraced to climb Everest and these three things you can use in all aspects of your life, whatever challenges you face; the ability to control fear, self-belief and resilience,’ said Mollie.
‘I have always been, and still am, scared of heights. It is not that you don’t experience the fear, it is about controlling it that is courageous. You also need self-belief; that deep-down feeling that you can do something and that is not necessarily about being self-confident. And finally, resilience. Resilience is about the ability to reach your previously
thought limit, and push through and climb higher and higher.’
Girls across the senior school received trophies and cups celebrating their achievements in sports ranging from tennis and swimming to athletics, hockey and football.
‘Sport is an important part of our curriculum,’ said Headmistress, Mrs Jane Prescott. ‘We give opportunity to so many girls – and even those for whom sport is quite a challenge – to enjoy a range of options and choice. There are also a plethora of co-curricular sports club activities, for example, the ever popular trampolining, boxing and football and now our new climbing wall, which was installed last summer.’
‘To climb a mountain of course you need technique and ability,’ ended Mollie. ‘But you also need willpower. You can achieve anything if you harness the willpower and when I had climbed Everest I soon forgot the pain and just remembered the sunrises and sunsets.’