Ex Great Britain Volleyball captain, Ben Pipes visited King James School on Friday 16th October. Ben delivered a motivational assembly to the whole of Year 7 before delivering five engaging practical Volleyball sessions to over 300 students of different year groups. He delivered some inspirational and practical advice, using his own experiences to capture students’ interest. “It was clear the pupils appreciated Ben´s personal and honest stories,” said PE teacher Mr Atkinson, who organised the visit. “The key message was that all pupils can achieve by working hard and putting in that special effort when needed.”
Ben began his career at the age of 15 and was the kind of student at school who could always be found in the PE office; so when an invite came to try volleyball he was there like a shot. Since that point Ben has never looked back and, having found a dynamic, challenging sport that suited him, he began his journey. The announcement in 2005 that London was to be the next host city of the Olympics was one of the decisions that changed the landscape of his career; and when the Great Britain Volleyball team was formed a door creaked open for him to live his Olympic dream. By that stage he had already turned professional, aged 17, and become an England international - and by the time the Olympics arrived he was Great Britain captain. These days Ben is back in the UK having been away for seven years playing professionally in Spain, Holland, Belgium and Sweden.