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02 May 2024

Former Gladiators Put Students Through Their Paces

Catgeories : Group news School news

Students at Huish Episcopi Academy test stamina in circuit training and obstacle course.

Last week, students at Huish Episcopi Academy were visited by two former Gladiators who inspired them to take on various sporting challenges and activities.

A group of 50 students across Years 8-10 were given the chance to spend time with athletes Jenny Pacey and Wayne Gordon. Both featured on the 2008 edition of the British television series ‘Gladiators’ – under the aliases Enigma (Jenny) and Doom (Wayne) – and have impressive sporting careers.

Between Jenny and Wayne, they share accolades such as representing Great Britain in the long jump, pentathlon and bobsleigh. Through their work as personal trainers, they have their own fitness company and brand called Pace & Go. Jenny is now training a new set of Gladiators for the TV show’s next series, whilst Wayne is pursuing an acting career.

Their visit to Huish Episcopi Academy involved students quizzing Jenny and Wayne on their lives as elite athletes before their stamina, strength and agility was put to the test taking on physical challenges in the afternoon.

Beginning with a ‘Gladiator warm up’, students underwent a 25-station circuit training rotation, trying a variety of exercises compiled by the Gladiators. In pairs, students then faced a race against the clock to complete a Gladiator-inspired obstacle course in the fastest time. This was a great test of students’ teamwork ability, with the winning pair congratulated and awarded signed autographs from Jenny and Wayne.

Jenny and Wayne’s visit comes as part of their role as Sports Ambassadors for United Learning, a national schools group which Huish Episcopi Academy joined last year. The event was part of a group-wide initiative PARIS 2024, which is about promoting sport and active lifestyles with activities inspired by this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Year 12 CTec Sport and Physical Activity students, who are at the school’s Sixth Form, worked alongside Jenny and Wayne to cheer on the younger students and record race times.

Florence Q, a Year 8 student at Huish Episcopi Academy, said of the day:

I thought the gladiator experience was a really good and interesting visit. We learnt a lot about the Olympic values and applied them to the practical work after. The assembly was a nice start to the afternoon and learning all about the ex-gladiators' lives was really interesting. They told us a lot about their childhood and careers and we found out that both of them have either worked or acted on film sets at some point. The practical bit after was a really good workout and being able to do it with a partner made it even better to cheer each other on.”

Wayne Gordon, elite athlete, actor and former Gladiator who visited the school, said:

What a very special day at Huish Episcopi Academy, from the staff to the students. The staff were very friendly, engaging and with a clear display of passion for what they do. The enthusiasm of the students is an indicator of the relationship with their teachers. The students are thoughtful, engaging and hardworking. An absolute pleasure to pass on experiences with them today. Today was by far the best Gladiator workshop we have done – team building, team bonding, respect and heart.

Tracy Rose, Head of PE at Huish Episcopi Academy, said:

This was an exciting opportunity for our students to try something out of the ordinary. Everyone who participated really got stuck into the challenge and thoroughly enjoyed speaking to the former Gladiators. Thank you to Jenny and Wayne for coming in and inspiring the students with their life stories and for their help in encouraging the students whilst they took on their physical challenges.

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