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Hayley Mortimer is director of sport at Taunton School in Somerset.

 

What school (s) did you go to?

 

Pate’s Grammar School, Cheltenham

 

What’s your earliest sporting memory?

 

Being on the sidelines of my dad's football team. I am one of four children and we spent many a Saturday afternoon, entertaining ourselves on the side of the pitch supporting both my dad and his team, or kicking a ball around ourselves or exploring every park or play area we ever ended up at.

 

Who were your sporting heroes growing up?

 

Bryan Robson. My Dad was an avid Manchester United supporter and I remember watching it on TV with him and dad saying that he was the captain, the work horse, ultra-competitive, brave and a good all-around player. I remember thinking that is the sort of player I wanted to be in any team I played for.

 

What are your best sporting memories of school?

 

Winning the U16 West Midlands Netball Championships to qualify for the National Schools competition. We had missed out for two seasons by a couple of goals and I remember as a school team we worked really hard that year, putting on extra lunchtime sessions and when we qualified to the final, I remember the feeling of the whole squad and my two PE teachers like it was yesterday.

 

What are your worst sporting memories of school?

 

The obstacle race in one of my primary school sports day. I had won the ball throw, the 50m and the 200m, and all I remember about the day, was not being able to put the second welly boot on in the obstacle race and going from first to sixth position. I ended up second and I have an embarrassing photo of myself on the podium with a sore loser face.

 

Can you recall a memorable sporting teacher?

 

Absolutely, I was blessed to have such an influential PE department at Pate's Grammar School, who without doubt have shaped my life into the direction I have followed. All of them had some influence on me in some way shape or form, but Mrs Caroline Mackenzie and Mrs Leslie Furze (who I them had the pleasure of working with at the beginning of my career) inspired me to become the best I could be, to challenge myself, gave me responsibility by making me captain and just nurtured me within both my life and my sport.

 

What sports do you play these days?

 

I still dabble on the netball court for the staff team at school and this year I swam the English Channel with a staff team and a pupil team racing against the Royal Marines as part of a charity challenge. Open water swimming has become my latest sport and has renewed my energy for new challenges which my body can cope with.

 

In what other ways do you stay healthy?

 

In winter it is skiing and in the summer it is getting on the road bike or going out for a long walk in the hills.

 

What is your favourite sporting memory?

 

Without doubt those that have been achieved whilst coaching over playing. I have some fantastic memories from lots of different sports, but the memory of students faces or comments will always be more rewarding for me now than any of mine as a player.

 

What’s been your most embarrassing sporting moment?

 

Being at the South West Athletics Championships and having thrown two no throws, being told by the official that because there were only six throwers in the competition I was better off making sure that I threw a throw that counted. I proceeded to produce a massive throw of 5.61m and the fact I can remember it exactly tells you how embarrassed I was.

 

What’s your biggest sporting bugbear?

 

The complexity of relationships between the official and players. Whether that be at the highest level or at school level. All players need to respect the officials in any game, but I believe communication between players and the official is key.

 

When was the last time you cried at a sporting event?

 

I often cry when I hear the national anthem, particularly at an event when the whole crowd is singing it or if it is being played because a member of Team GB has won a title. I think it is a combination of being proud to be British and proud of the result that gets me each time.

 

Which three sports people would you like to have around for dinner and why?

 

Steven Redgrave, a legend of a Team GB athlete, Jess Ennis Hill, probably the most important and influential female sports icon in recent years and Kate Richardson-Walsh, captain of successful Olympic Games hockey team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MY SPORTING LIFE