Students and staff celebrated International Women’s Day at New City College with influential female speakers sharing uplifting stories of their lives and the challenges they have faced.
The speakers included World Athletics Championship silver medallist Desiree Henry, the Bishop of Barking Lynne Cullens, Poplar and Limehouse MP Apsana Begum and New City College Principal Janet Smith.
To mark the globally important event, at Havering Sixth Form there were interactive stalls, music, self-defence sessions, female boxing, sports challenges, tote bag and badge making, female gym sessions and a display of citations from staff and students about the amazing women in their lives.
Organised and run by the Enrichment and Sports teams, the event educated students and informed them about the historical importance of IWD and gave them the opportunity to celebrate the inspirational women they look up to.
Athlete Desiree Henry spoke about how she won medals at the 2016 Olympics and then the World Championships as part of the GB 100m relay team but then her world came crashing down when she suffered injury and she had to rebuild her strength and speed in order to compete again.
She said: “Resilience is so important – and belief. Take your positive energy and go with it. You will be amazed at what you can achieve.”
The students were inspired by her story and by the talks given by the Bishop of Barking and the Principal Janet Smith – who also spoke to students at Ardleigh Green campus about how her first teacher inspired her and is now her best friend. MP Apsana Begum visited NCC Tower Hamlets campus in Poplar to mark the special day.