sarah-brinkleyIan delivered a riveting talk about his Atlantic Crossing which was engaging, honest and allowed the children to understand the ‘joy of failure’ and the recognition that delivering extraordinary takes hard work, resilience and humour – just one small stroke at a time.

Image result for lesley sharpling oakgroveIt was my pleasure to welcome Ian at our one day event which was aimed at increasing confidence and equipping some of our more vulnerable students with skills which they will need at interview and in the workplace.

His easy manner and relaxed presentation helped to put the students at ease and he addressed them as young adults rather than school children.  He emphasised to the group that ordinary people can do extra ordinary things in life and this is so important as many students lack faith in their abilities.

The photographs were fantastic and showed both the beauty and hardships of such an endeavour. His message that to achieve great things you must commit yourself, work hard and make the most of opportunities was really valuable and this was taken on board by many of the students.

It was brilliant that Ian then stayed on and encouraged the group in their Team Building Exercise which he then kindly judged.  He even had a smile and some enthusiasm from the student had been determined not to enjoy the workshop at all!

This experience was brilliant. It allowed our students to be part of something extraordinary, to be the change.  They were treated as equals, worked alongside other people and got a first-hand experience of making a difference.

Our work with Ian Rowe has been inspirational.

Whilst we enjoyed a very pleasant paddle along the Thames Ian described how hard it is to row at sea from his own experience of rowing across the Atlantic. He painted an evocative picture of the living conditions of a small crew in a small boat in a big ocean and the personal challenges and dangers they faced and how we can relate these challenges to our daily lives. Worth every moment.


Ian is a delightful and enthusiastic person to work with. He made everything happen very smoothly and it was an amazing experience for everyone involved

The idea of preparation and setting goals has given me structure to my school work. Around the time of my exams we had our sessions and spoke about how preparation can overcome anxiety. I then started to see revision more like my sport, in that you have to train in order to get results. I was able to really get into my work and overcome my feelings of anxiety as I knew I’d put in the hours, which had previously been my weakness.

I wish I could have used some of the tools with my schoolwork too. The goal settings, with milestones and golden goal with the vision the number 1 priority could have been hugely successful when starting out at A-level in particular, as the system is very much in line and is favoured towards it. Much the same as GCSE’s in fact. If I had Ian come and work with me at the start of GCSE’s I would have seen that I was starting the pathway to not only my school career but also my life.

These sessions not only make you think about what you are doing and why, but how you feel, why you feel that way and even challenges you to think the reasons for that. I now personally use it in almost everything I do, it’s been such a change for me, and I like to think for the better.

Ian, in the first 5 minutes set out the change that we were searching for, that no matter what we had done, no matter what people thought of us, it was not what we said that mattered it was what we would do. The positive attitude that came from Ian, soon translated into everything that we did, and to this day I still do.

Thank you for a brilliant day yesterday! You were excellent company and your manner of talking to the students was just right. The message was perfect for our students. I have had a chat with some whilst on lunchtime duty today and those I spoke to were very positive about what they had gained from the workshops.

Thank you so much for your work yesterday. I have had lots of positive comments from students and staff this morning. It is clear that you made an impact and I really do believe that will make a lasting impression plus form the basis for tutor time work and assemblies in the future.’

I just wanted to give you some feedback regarding the event yesterday. Well where do I start? It was fantastic! To deliver such a powerful message and I’m sure in many cases a life changing experience in just one and a half hours is a credit to Ian and Martin. The fact the pupils were so engaged and attentive says it all really. I really enjoyed the s ession from a personal point of view and can certainly take away some things from it myself.

A really significant moment in the schools journey celebrating and inspiring success.