"That discipline and focus really impacted my athletic career with mountain biking, and with other aspects of everyday life too. I am very grateful to Bolton School for contributing to this solid foundation. "

Chris Eatough, World Champion at Mountain Bike Endurance and Old Boy

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Sian Pledger

1. Name

Siân Pledger

 

2. Current Occupation

Gap year - Full time athlete in Malta and part time gym instructor

 

3. Favourite subject at school

Geography

 

4. Best & worst memories of school days

Best - The many fun filled school trips: the field trips in sixth form where we had lots of giggles and ended up soaking wet and up to our knees in bog and much more! Also the ski trips where I made lots of new friends and enjoyed seeing different countries. The concert we did in my last year at the Bridgewater Hall was also a very special occasion to me.

Worst - Lunch time lessons - these were lessons we used to have in the first half of lunch where you were so hungry you couldn't concentrate (they don't have these any more - lucky!). The exams too of course!

 

5. What or who inspired you to follow your career?

Many people have inspired me to follow my dream career. Professional athletes give me someone to look up to and to aspire to be like them, for example, Denise Lewis was my first heroine. Watching her win her gold at the 2000 Olympics was the first time I realised I wanted to be an athlete and win medals and break records. My mentors also help me a lot as they have been where I want to be so they fully understand what I am going through. My coach, family and friends play a huge role in inspiring me, giving me the support I need and following me on the ups and downs of an athletes' rollercoaster.   And last but not least, my school were always telling us how we have to go out and get what we want and let nothing stand in our way.

 

6. What do you feel you gained by attending a girls' school only?

I gained a lot of confidence going to a girls' school as I could grow up and be myself without any pressure from the boys being around all the time. It allowed me to make strong and long lasting friendships that may have otherwise been disrupted due to boy problems during school life. It also helps in lessons as the teachers can focus the lessons more to appeal to girls rather than having to appeal to both girls and boys; I feel this helps you understand the concepts quicker and in more depth.

 

7. Any advice for parents choosing a school for their daughter?

You need to look at all aspects of the school, music and sport as well as the academic side as these areas are just as important. You also need to choose a school that suits your daughter; it may not be where all her friends are going but don't worry as I didn't know anyone when I went to Bolton School but I quickly made friends and settled in. However, you need to make sure your daughter is happy with the decision of where to go as the school years are very important and choosing the right school can either make them some of the happiest or worst years of their life

I think it is important that if you do decide to send your daughter to a girls' school that they have contact with boys out of school as this is important as part of social maturity. At my school there were opportunities to mix with the boys on certain trips and extra curricular activities such as the ski trips and many musical groups.

 

8. Any advice for girls planning their university and/or career choices?

Go with the subjects that you enjoy and don't worry if you don't know what you want to be at the end of university! If you decide to go to university make sure you research the universities themselves and also the course very carefully to find the right one for you. From my experience I would say don't go to university for the sake of it or because that's "what everyone does" because it isn't for everyone, there are plenty of other options: apprenticeships or studying at a later date. If you do decide to have a gap year make sure it's productive, you have fun and that it doesn't just waste away.

 

9. Any other comments you would like to make?

Never ever give up on your dreams: the path won't be smooth or easy and there will be many mountains to climb but keep your goal in mind and stay positive and you WILL achieve your dream if you want it enough.

Live life positively and with a smile : )

Read Sian's blog of her life in Malta

 

 

Sian Sian