24th June 2021 — Triple jumper Jonathan Edwards is marking his 18:29m world record set in 1995 in Gothenburg, which he stills hold today, with a visit to his old school, West Buckland, in North Devon, on Friday 2nd July.
With the Tokyo Olympics just a month away, the Olympian, TV presenter and former West Buckland pupil will join us as guest speaker on Speech Day, on Friday 2nd July. Jonathan will present awards at the prize-giving ceremony and spend time with pupils and staff, reminiscing about his school days and inspiring students to achieve their dreams and maybe even go on to be world champion athletes too.
Jonathan attended West Buckland between 1976 and 1984, during which he excelled both academically and on the sports field, before going on to Durham University to read Physics. His former Headmaster, Michael Downward, who this year steps down from his position as Trustee to the school’s Foundation, noted his exceptional sporting talent, even at an early age.
In a tribute to his achievement, the school has marked-out the extraordinary 18.29m jump, outside the Jonathan Edwards sports hall, with a brick track showing the exact points Jonathan hopped, stepped and jumped into athletic history. To this day, students and visitors marvel at the sheer distance travelled and it remains a huge source of inspiration to the whole school community.
Current Headmaster, Phillip Stapleton, is delighted that Jonathan can attend Speech Day, “We had invited Jonathan to speak at last year’s Speech Day before it had to be cancelled due to COVID. The children are so excited to hear Jonathan’s story and take inspiration from it. He is a fine example of someone whose gone from local North Devon boy to world class achiever and how location should never be considered a barrier to ambition.”
Jonathan added, “It was at West Buckland where I took my first ever triple jump and with training and perseverance, the school helped me realise I had potential and could pursue a career in athletics, alongside going to university. Who knows what today’s pupils may achieve in the future? I’m very much looking forward to meeting them and finding out.”