Olympic Gymnast, Craig Heap visited our school on Monday 6th January to host a motivational and inspiring talk to our year 7 students. Craig spoke to the students about life ambition and about using stepping stones to achieve your dreams. He launched an online programme where students’ can create a user account and build a ladder of targets to help them achieve their goals (steps to success – dare to dream). These are directed to ‘education, sport & performing arts and personal’ goals. Craig shared with students the characteristics for success were the same in sport, business and any other walk of life and his passion to inspire children really came across during the talk, helping them to believe in their own potential.
This initiative is privately funded for the benefit of talented children in the North of England by Steve Hagues and is delivered by Craig. Steps to success is a story of encouragement for children that is about: drams, goal setting, grit, vision, Faith, discipline, focus, persistence and integrity. More information can be found at www.steps-to-success.org.uk.
Olympian & Double Commonwealth Gold medallist
Craig was born into the family business of dairy farming in Burnley, Lancashire. He started gymnastics at the age of 9 after being dragged along to the local sports centre to watch his sister. Life was pretty good until he moved to High school and being a gymnast in an all-boys high school was not easy, however Craig believes this helped him to find his own identity and made him into the person he is today. Working and training up to 16.5 hours a day did not do great things for his gymnastic career and at the age of 21 he decided to leave his family and friends behind to take up centralised training with the British team at Lilleshall National Sports Centre. He believes that you can only achieve your dreams and goals in life if you fully commit to them. Life was not always easy and success did not happen straight away, Craig was reserve for both the 1994 Commonwealth games and the 1996 Olympics but believe this setback made him more determined than ever to reach his Dreams of competing at an Olympic Games.
In a career spanning 20 years, Craig has won 14 British championship titles, competed in 5 European and 5 World championships and in 1998 he became the first person in history to captain England to team Gold at the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur. Four years later in the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games, he secured Gold again. Despite breaking his hand in two places seven weeks prior, Craig fulfilled his childhood dream of competing at the Olympic Games, achieving a Personal Best in the All Round final of the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Since retiring from Gymnastics in 2002, Craig has set up his own company which is all about people reaching their Goals and Dreams and achieving their Personal Best. Still involved with gymnastics, he is High Performance men’s coach at the City of Newcastle Gymnastics Academy. No stranger to television, Craig has appeared as a ‘‘Mystery Guest’’ on the BBC’s ‘‘They Think Its All Over’’, performed back flips for Kylie Minogue and occasionally commentates on gymnastics for the BBC. Most recently Craig covered the London 2012 Olympics for Radio 5Live.
Over the years has been committed to inspire and work with the next generation and has worked as an athlete mentor for the Youth Sport Trust, Sporting Champions, Sportmakers, Creating Excellence, Keynote, 21st Century Legacy, Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust.
Technical Director – Foundation Group of Companies
As a family man and father of 7 children, Kevin knows how important it is for young people to strive to achieve their goals, he supports the Steps to Success initiative in a technical role, and is responsible for the creation and implementation of the website.
Marketing Director – Foundation Group of Companies
Leigh has a background in working with children having taught dance at high schools within the local area, this knowledge has helped her understand the importance of motivating and enthusing children at a early age to help them achieve their goals in life, as decisions they make now can affect their future. Leigh is responsible for the marketing and administration side of the Steps to Success initiative, she is also contacting schools to arrange appointments in Craig’s diary.
Owner – Foundation Group of Companies
Born in East Yorkshire, Steve began running his own business aged 23, spending a decade growing his clients businesses by directly acquiring key personnel from weaker competitors across the North of England.
Becoming well recognised for building highly profitable sales and advisory businesses he expanded into mergers & acquisitions of small to medium sized firms via his Retiring Ifa brand and consultancy before launching the worlds first automated online business buyer last year.
This personal initiative fits with Steve’s ongoing quest to build effective organisations around key individuals of exceptional strength in UK society.
A proud father of 3, Steve says “Craig is the man to show children what success really looks like. They will also discover that they too have the seeds of greatness and can aim for wonderful things in their life.”
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