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Old Boy's Tale Inspires Year 10

  • Krish Patel 2.jpg
  • Krish Patel 3.jpg

It was an inspirational afternoon for Boys’ Division pupils in Year 10 as two Old Boys connected with the year group via Zoom. The event took place during a SPACE Day: regular off-timetable afternoons with a focus on enrichment activities. Krish Patel (Class of 2010) and Prateek Buch (Class of 1999) shared their experiences after leaving Bolton School, which took them down very different paths but have nonetheless allowed both to make a difference for good in the wider world.

Krish Patel’s childhood dream was to become a professional footballer. He was talented and fortunate enough when he left Bolton School to play for Bury FC. However, his dream career was cut short by injury.

He talked about becoming ‘lost’ when this happened at the age of 19: not knowing what he wanted to do in his life, feeling overwhelmed and without direction. Eventually he was offered the chance to go to university in California, but when he arrived the reality wasn’t quite what he had expected. He was about to give up when he received some life-changing advice from another member of the university’s football team: ‘If you keep running away from your obstacles, you’ll never overcome anything in your life.’

He stayed in the US and transferred to Montgomery, Alabama, where he received a full ride scholarship and travelled around the country playing football against some of the best teams. He graduated with a business degree in 2016 and a different outlook on life. He had realised that he could help others just as his teammate had helped him.

After returning to the UK, he created the ‘Road 2 Uganda’ campaign and ran four marathons in four consecutive days, raising enough money to build a new schoolhouse is Uganda. The school is now responsible for the education of 150 pupils each year. He shared a video of his experiences while volunteering in Uganda and said that after this he was ‘hooked’ on helping others: ‘It was the best feeling ever! No matter what anyone says, once you help others and it lights that bulb inside of them, there’s no better feeling.’

His next project came from volunteering work with a homeless outreach group in Manchester. He spoke about his realisation that people he saw on the streets were ‘not “homeless people” but “people who are homeless”’, and that they are still human and have amazing stories. In early 2019, he swam 53 miles in the Lake District for his Swim 4 Shelter campaign, raising awareness and enough money to help 36 people living on the streets in Manchester into an employment programme.

Krish’s experiences with these challenges helped him to realise that every single person has a story to tell. He wanted to help share those stories, which he believed would encourage and inspire others as well as celebrating achievements and helping those struggling in similar circumstances. He therefore set up the Tales to Inspire website, and since January 2020 this has been his full-time job. Krish has already published a Tales to Inspire book and has plans for a podcast and live shows down the line.

He said, ‘I’ve seen so many things, so many possibilities and paths you can go down. Don’t be trapped by what people tell you you have to be. You have to be true to the person in the mirror. There is nothing more powerful than a person who knows themselves.’

Krish’s story was certainly a tale to inspire for the Year 10s listening! He encouraged them to follow their passions, make connections with others and get hooked on the amazing feeling of helping someone else.

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