Former GB, England, Bradford Bulls and Leeds Rhinos rugby star, Jamie Peacock MBE visited London South East Colleges today to give a motivational talk to students beginning their learner journey this September.

Jamie made over 550 first-class appearances in his rugby league career. This included nine Super League titles, four Challenge Cups, four World Club Challenge titles and two World’s Best titles. He came to our Holly Hill Construction Campus during the first week of term to inspire students to set themselves tough but achievable goals and to go that ‘extra mile’ in pursuit of success.

His key messages were:

  • always have a good attitude and put in 100% effort
  • concentrate on the positive influences in your life, not the negative ones
  • set yourself achievable goals and targets but always test yourself
  • have belief in yourself and always strive to be the best that you can be

Jamie told of a missed opportunity he had as a teenager when travelling by bus to train with Bradford Bulls for a team trial. Along the way, he experienced severe self-doubt and failed to get off the bus at the correct stop. His father and team coach were furious with him but managed to get him one more chance a week later. Jamie knew it was now or never to make that big break in life and this time he made no mistake. He said: “This was my time to ‘get off the bus’. It has become a personal message to myself. Just three years later, I was picked to play for Great Britain against Australia in the Rugby League Ashes 1st Test. Just a day before I lined up with some of the sport’s biggest names, I experienced another dose of self-doubt. Again, it was my time to get off the bus – it was my stop. Just four minutes into the match I scored Great Britain’s first try in a match we won by three tries to two. After that, I never looked back.”

Jamie set himself huge targets. He knew that to be the best he would have to put in extra training and achieve fitness levels far higher than those of his opponents. Each year, on Christmas Day he would be running 10km in bad weather while everyone else opened their presents at home. “This was the sacrifice I had to make. I knew that not many others would go this far. One of my favourite quotes is: ‘There are no traffic jams on the extra mile”.

Plumbing student Stephanie said:

Jamie was very honest about his initial fears of failure. He told us about how he overcame them and became stronger, more confident and driven towards becoming the extraordinary player that he was.

College Sports Maker, Christopher Williams organised the talk. He said: “We chose Jamie to deliver this year’s motivational talk because of his positive outlook and how he makes things happen.

Whether you are attempting to be a great athlete or a great carpenter or plumber, that positivity and determination will drive you to the very top of your career.”

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