Diamond League Athletes Inspire Students at Shangwen School in Xiamen

Diamond League athletes, including Sam Kendricks and Chris Nilsen, captivated students at Shangwen school in Xiamen with skill demonstrations and motivational insights. Witness how students were inspired to pursue their dreams after interacting with these sporting role models.

Xiamen Students Thrilled by Diamond League Athletes’ Visit

On a typical Thursday afternoon, the Shangwen school in Xiamen, a relatively new institution, witnessed a scene more lively than its opening day. As four Diamond League athletesSam Kendricks, Chris Nilsen, Devynne Charlton, and Fred Kerley – visited the school ahead of the upcoming Wanda Diamond League event in Xiamen, the students were thrilled to catch a glimpse of their sporting heroes.

“The thunderous cheers that erupted as the athletes walked out of the hall were reminiscent of an Olympic award ceremony.”

Students crowded the corridors, aisles, and windows, eager to get autographs or simply observe the stars in person.

During the opening remarks, an unexpected interaction occurred. The two pole vaulters, Kendricks and Nilsen, secretly exchanged notes underneath the desk, just like mischievous schoolboys. The instigator of this clandestine communication was a student sitting in the back row, who had written an English question: “How do you control your attitude when you lose the games?”

“Kendricks, the first to receive the note, responded with a beautifully written cursive message: ‘A long journey is a good one if you have something to pressure every day. If winning is the only goal, it will be a short journey.’ Nilsen then added: ‘The best way to control your emotions is to know about it! Make everything you do, good or bad, a step towards implement.'”

The athletes’ presence during the interactive outdoor session quickly drew the largest crowd. Initially, they showcased their skills, but Kendricks and Nilsen were not satisfied. “More students, more!” they called out, and like a wave, they engaged several rows of students in their warm-ups and stretching exercises, even demonstrating their prowess in handstand walking, much to the delight of the audience.

When a girl from the club expressed her fear of heights and injuries associated with pole vaulting, Nilsen provided encouraging words. He shared his own journey, recounting how he had transitioned from football to pole vault, and how athletics had propelled him to new heights. Nilsen likened pole vaulting to driving a car, where the speed gradually increases, just as the heights in pole vaulting progress from one metre to the next.

As the athletes’ schedule drew to a close, Kendricks and Nilsen departed the campus, leaving behind a group of girls from the high jump team who discussed their newfound interest in trying pole vaulting in the future, aspiring to reach the same heights as the visiting athletes.

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