A Commonwealth Games cyclist and dignitaries got on their bikes to make a spectacular entry at Monmouth School Boys’ Prep’s Prize-Giving ceremony.
Old Monmothian Lewis Oliva, who won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games last year, was among the party which cycled into the service on Friday 5th July.
Lewis, a six-time British Champion and a five-time World Cup medallist, was a pupil at The Grange (now Monmouth School Boys’ Prep) from 1999 to 2003, before attending Monmouth School for Boys.
“The biggest lessons I have learnt were outside the classroom – friendship, respect and integrity,” recalledLewis, who took his first degree through the Open University and is now studying a medical degree at Cardiff University.
He told the boys: “You have the capacity to make your wildest dreams come true.
“It’s a long journey ahead. It won’t always be pretty so laugh, cry, take risks and make mistakes. Push yourself and do as much as you can.
“You will face multiple challenges and it will be all too easy to quit.
“When I first applied to the GB team in 2008, I was told that I wasn’t good enough and to come back next year.
“When I applied to medical school, all four medical schools rejected me.
“But I am exceptionally stubborn and a little eccentric and I am always up for a challenge. I love the satisfaction of proving people wrong.”
Head Boy, Seb Bowen, spoke with great confidence and maturity, highlighting the importance of mental health and wellbeing for young children.
Seb wanted to help young people build resilience and revealed that, with support from his school friends, family and teachers, had raised £10,045.02 for his chosen charity, YoungMinds.
“Monmouth School Boys’ Prep teaches us the importance of kindness, determination and resilience, striving to be the best we can be, whilst being a good friend,” said Seb.
“Being in a school where you are listened to and supported, makes you feel like you can take on the world.
"I have been at Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools since I was three years old, so it has been a major part of my life.
"Monmouth School Boys’ Prep has given me some friends for life and some incredible memories and helped me to develop my confidence, taught me about leadership and has, hopefully, given me some good grades too."
Seb, who presented the Head Boy’s Prize to Matthew Powell, added: “If I could give any advice to younger students it would be to take every opportunity that the school offers you, step outside your comfort zone and never give up even when it seems the easier option. Never forget that kindness and humility go a long way.”
Prizes were handed out to a number of students, including the Orchestra Prize, Mathematics Cup and the Language Award.
And a marvellous selection of songs from the school’s recent Songs of Home concert, under the baton of Mr Joe Walton, were performed.
Headteacher, Mr Neil Shaw, gave two short stories, one which included a tremendous act of kindness and friendship, and the other which illustrated the boys’ excellent standards of behaviour.
“To receive an unsolicited acknowledgement from a member of the public as to the boys’ attitude, respect, courtesy and levels of politeness and awareness of others around mad my day, possibly my week and maybe even my month,” said Mr Shaw.
“The competitiveness, camaraderie and togetherness of our wonderful Year 6 boys exemplify the values of the school with everything that they do and they have been superb role-models and student leaders.”