Dunford Lecture: Clare Balding

It was a great privilege to welcome Clare Balding to give the Dunford Lecture on Tuesday 4th October 2016.  

Clare is currently one of the most high-profile sports journalists and presenters; as she spent the summer in Rio as the main anchor-woman of the Olympic and Paralympic games, we were particularly looking forward to asking her questions on this sporting topic.

She began her talk by showing us a photo collage of her progression into the world of sports journalism and broadcasting, and also some images of high-profile interviews that she has done, both in and outside the world of sport.  These pictures really gave us an insight into the success that she has had over recent years.  She interspersed her photo journey with stand-out moments from Olympic coverage in both 2012 and 2016, including interviews with swimmer Chad Le Clos’s father, the GB hockey girls and Usain Bolt.

Within her light-hearted account were some key messages for all pupils (and staff).  She stressed that her success has been, in part, down to her determination to say ‘yes’ to every opportunity at an early stage of her career, even if at times she wasn’t totally thrilled by the job or volunteer role.  She also added that when she has interviewed very successful sports people, something that has struck her is their determination to continue to improve, no matter their current high standards; this desire for further self-improvement is something that hopefully resonated with the audience.

At the end of her lecture, Clare answered questions on a variety of topics.  She admitted that Andy Murray is one of her favourite sports people, due mostly to his ‘grit’ and achievements against a number of odds and that she believes that she inspired Angelina Jolie to back CNN’s coverage of the Paralympics in America!

Clare was a great pleasure to spend the evening with; she took time to talk to pupils and share a small glimpse into her life at present.  We are extremely grateful that she visited her at Marlborough and wish her every success for her current book tour.

Katy Hudson
Director of Sport

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