Reflection Time and Prayer of the Day

Good Morning Brown Clee!

Yesterday we were thinking about the importance of having a positive attitude and having a go, even when we are facing a challenge or finding something tricky.

Today I am going to share a true story about someone who is truly inspirational in how his positive attitude and ‘can-do’ attitude in dealing with massive disappointment and frustration helped him to overcome a terrible injury and succeed.

Richard Parks is a former professional rugby union player who spent 13 years playing for clubs in Wales and France. He also achieved the highest accolade for any sporting person by being selected to play for his home nation, Wales.

Richard was passionate about his sport and pushed himself hard, both in training and on the pitch during every game. However, whilst playing for his club, he sustained an injury. Those of us who play and enjoy sport know how wonderful it is to be able to compete, and the inability to play sport due to injury can be hard to bear. Richard took a short time out of the game whilst he underwent treatment, but by continuing to play he caused irreversible damage.

After undergoing a number of operations he was forced to retire from rugby. You can imagine how hard that was for Richard. He was a man with energy and strength, but suddenly his rugby career was at an end.

However, Richard Parks didn’t give up. In fact, he overcame the dreadful disappointment of coming to the end of his rugby career much too early and went on to do some highly significant things!  Have a listen to him, and see if you can pick out some inspirational comments…..

What an amazing achievement – to make history twice. Firstly, he undertook an expedition called the 737 Challenge..

Richard became the first person ever to achieve this feat. More recently, he became the fastest-ever British person to ski unsupported and unassisted to the South Pole.  These achievements are wonderful in themselves, but what makes them even better is that Richard has been able to raise thousands of pounds for charity through his actions. His 737 Challenge raised over £326,000 for Marie Curie Cancer Care. He also raised awareness of the charity to the value of £3 million worth of advertising. Richard certainly turned the disappointment he felt at the end of his rugby career into an opportunity to help others.

In the video clip I couldn’t help but pick out the following phrases:-

“Horizon is only limited by sight” – Richard’s horizons were certainly not limited after his accident – he achieved so much because of his positive attitude; despite his anger, frustration and disappointment in not being able to play competitive rugby any more, he persevered and overcame these negative emotions, and found a new challenge – a new goal!

“We all have challenges – all challenges are different – we all have our mountains to climb” – we do!  Many of us might be finding the current lockdown particularly challenging, we might be missing school, our friends, we might find it hard to concentrate at home and are missing ‘normal’ life.  I think Richard teaches us that the only way to succeed is by thinking positively, and finding our own way forward.

The concept of not giving up – concept of perseverance” – yesterday we enjoyed a song with the words “I have a go!” in them – which means not giving up, but persevering – I wonder what would have happened if Richard Parks had given up and not had a go?!

At some time in our lives, each of us will experience disappointment. How we deal with disappointment is an individual thing, but being able to turn a negative feeling into a positive action is a wonderful way to respond.

Enjoy the “Growth Mindset Song” again – and make sure you listen to the words – they are really important!


Prayer of the Day

Dear God,
Help us to support each other within our community, to use our skills and talents in a positive way to help others, whether it be through charitable deeds or kind words of encouragement.
Help us to find our own personal ways of turning negative experiences into positive outcomes.


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