Olympic boxer opens Drax nature reserve

8:40am Wednesday 14th November 2012

By Dan Bean

A GOLD medal-winning Olympian has told school children in North Yorkshire that “as long as you believe and have a dream, you can achieve anything”.

Record-setting boxer Nicola Adams officially opened Drax Power Station’s Skylark Centre and Nature Reserve yesterday, and stopped to answer questions and sign autographs for pupils from Drax Primary School.

The Leeds-born winner punched her way through a gold medal-shaped screen, and told the children how winning her medal felt.

She told them: “If you can imagine all your Christmasses rolled into one, that’s what it was like.”

The new facility replaces the original structure, built in 1995, and Peter Emery, production director at Drax, told the crowd nature was as impressive as Olympic feats, with peregrine falcons able to swoop faster than Chris Hoy can cycle, and encouraged them to visit the site.

Mr Emery said: “Our ambition 17 years ago was to create a space for children to learn and understand more about their discoveries on educational visits and tours of the nature reserve. We are confident that this new centre will continue to enrich the knowledge and enjoyment of generations to come.”

Nicola said she was finally getting used to life after the Olympics, but was still amazed at how much her life had changed. She said: “The whole time has been fantastic, and I’ve been getting the opportunities to go places I never would have had chance to go, like the MOBO Awards, flying to Rio with the Prime Minister, and meeting the Queen. Kate Middleton said she had a sore throat from screaming at my fights. It’s nice to know I had that much support.

“It’s fantastic the kids can take inspiration from me and go out and do sport or be inspired to go out and try something new. This is great, I wish I had something like this when I was younger, getting out, learning about different animals, it makes learning fun.”

When asked whether she felt she had a good chance at winning Sports Personality Of The Year this year, Nicola said just the nomination would be enough.

She said: “It’s a really tough pick this year. I’d be over the moon if I was nominated. I think if I even got nominated for that, I would be blown away.”


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