Barrie McDermott Visits South Leeds Academy

As part of the growing links with South Leeds Academy, Leeds Rugby Foundation were invited to deliver an inspirational talk to a selection of students as part of their week examining setting life goals and dealing with setbacks .

Sam Horner, Leeds Rhinos Community Development Officer said, “We are now engaging with this school in various capacities and when this opportunity arose, there was someone ideally placed at the club who could deliver such a talk; Barrie McDermott.”

Barrie was more than happy to share with over 80 students of all ages his experiences and how he dealt with his own particular adversity.

Jason Askham, the event organiser and part of the behavioural team at the school, opened by showing a video of the recent visit of their Year 7s to play at Wembley as part of the Champions Schools rugby league competition. Jonny Wainhouse, a Manager within Leeds Rugby Foundation mentored the team and supported its coaching. The video highlighted the success of not just the players but the whole school achievement.

Barrie spoke about his early life and ambitions and how he had to change direction due to a serious eye injury. He commented on his ups and downs within the sport but emphasised his never-give-up attitude and resilience to want to achieve. He then opened up the floor to questions which proved to be thought provoking and tested him almost as much as the defences he used to face on the field.