Be the person they won’t forget

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to teach. Was it simply because I loved sport? That’s what everyone may think. I guess it partly is for that reason, but what people don’t know is that it is mainly because of the impact a certain person had on my life as a pupil, that led me into teaching. I don’t remember all my teachers from school, but I remember Mrs McCollum. She saw something in me, not just a love for sport, but my individual fire, and she knew just how to ignite it, in a positive and productive way. She taught beyond the curriculum, influencing lives with her empathy, passion, and commitment, whilst combining valuable life lessons through sport.

We are all aware of the benefits of physical activity, but do we really give it the recognition it deserves? The development of a child in sport is a journey, not only a physical one, but an emotional and social learning curve. Within physical activity, every aspect of development is highlighted in each learning experience, mostly daily. Experiencing highs and lows, learning to win, lose, work with, and encourage others to achieve their full potential.  The social and emotional development of a child starts as soon as we are born, interaction and communication are the building blocks that will mould a child’s future. Gaining confidence in areas outside comfort zones will lead to achieving success beyond their knowing, because someone provided the opportunity, but most importantly, because someone believed they could, and encouraged them to try.


At Exeter Cathedral School we focus on the development of each individual pupil. During a global pandemic, it became clear how much power and value physical activity can hold, and the positive impact it has on both body and mind. We mustn’t forget the feeling of only being granted a single opportunity to exercise daily, it was gold dust. It was something everyone looked forward to in their day, it had that ‘feel good’ factor at a time when everything was so unpredictable. Life is hard sometimes and it will throw us curveballs, so why not do something consistently, that we know scientifically makes us feel so much better, both mentally and physically. At Exeter Cathedral School we were adamant that our online learning reflected our belief in physical activity and highlighted the importance of keeping children moving and enjoying being active, even if it was through a screen. We facilitated online gymnastics, skills sessions, dance, fitness, and much more, so pupils had freedom to express themselves, away from their home school-based activities. In that time of worry, I hope Exeter Cathedral School was an influencing factor, I certainly know the ‘gummy bear’ dance and ‘wake up, shake up’ are still firm favourites, an indication of how we have influenced children in a time of uncertainty, they haven’t forgotten.

However, it is not only teaching that can have an impact; any person who the child may meet, can have a positive part to play in their development. Surrounding children with influential adults and providing learning opportunities with other children, will encourage both success and failure, and nurture the ability to make good decisions. Children remember; they remember people who guide them to make good life choices, even choices they may not understand at that moment in time, but with reflection, they learn to appreciate.

Teaching is a gift; but we must realise the importance of educating the whole child, everything else that surrounds meeting those classroom learning objectives. At times it is not the easiest of jobs, but it is an honour to be able to influence children’s lives and be a little part of the person they choose to become. Facilitating growth in confidence, empowering ambition, balancing competitiveness, overseeing peer interaction, encouraging sportsmanship and social etiquette, creating belief, and igniting a passion for being active. All these wonderful aspects of teaching give us the opportunity to be someone the pupils will never forget, to have such an impact on their lives that they remember us in years to come, just as I do with my teacher.

I found this article below; it highlights how a person can impact someone’s life.

Enjoy 😊


Mrs Emma Ross
Director of Sport



Story of the Childhood Friend Who Made Cristiano Ronaldo Great 


Cristiano Ronaldo has given his old friend and former football teammate, Albert Fantrau a special recognition publicly after recounting how he sacrificed his own football career so that he (Ronaldo) could become a global football icon today.  

The ultimate sacrifice made by one man named Albert Fantrau sealed his fate for the rest of his life and guaranteed him a meal ticket. The man happens to be an old friend of Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo. 

Moments after Real Madrid Football Club won their 10th UEFA Champions League trophy in 2014, the global audience and thousands of football fans at the Stadium of Light in Lisbon were taken by surprise when Cristiano Ronaldo abandoned the team’s celebration and ran to a section of the stand to pull out a man from the crowd and hug him affectionately. 

The action was a public confession by Ronaldo to honour his childhood clubmate who ‘sacrificed himself’ and allowed the Portuguese star to become a global icon today. Ronaldo said in an interview he granted some years ago that he and his friend were vying for a spot in an academy of Andorinha in Funchal, Madeira. 

“I have to thank my old friend Albert Fantrau for my success. We played together for the same team in the U-18 championship. When a scout came to see us, he said that, Whoever scores more goals will come into our academy.” 

“We won that match 3-0. I scored the first goal then Albert scored the second with a great header. But the third goal was impressive for all of us. Albert was one-on-one against the goalkeeper; he rounded the goalkeeper and I was running in front of him.  

“All he had to do was to score that goal, but he passed it to me and I scored the third goal, so I got that spot and went to the academy.

“After the match I went to him and asked him why? Albert said that “Because you (Ronaldo) are better than me.” 

Journalists then went to Albert’s house and asked him if it was a true story. He said yes. He also said that his career as a player after the match ended and now is unemployed. “But how did you build this house so great, you have a car? You seem like a rich man. You are also able keep your family. From where did this come from? ‘ 

Albert more proudly replied: “It is from Ronaldo!” 

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