“MR Pennington is speaking this week and next to year group assemblies on the importance of setting goals, using the example of Sir John Kirwan. John Kirwan is a New Zealand All Black legend from the 1980’s and 1990’s. He was knighted in 2012 for his services to rugby and mental health. He is the author of two books, ‘All Blacks Don’t Cry’ and ‘Stand By Me: Helping Your Teen Through Tough Times’.

“In a clip from an interview, John Kirwan explains how, as an apprentice butcher in his father’s butcher’s shop, he felt he needed to improve dramatically if he was ever going to make it as an All Black. His father’s friend, Neville Denton, in a rather unconventional and blunt manner took on the challenge of helping John learn to side-step at pace, one of his particular weaknesses. The price he had to pay was to butcher the wild boar that Neville would occasionally bring to the shop. His challenge to achieve success in any area was to…

• Set a Goal
• Seek Help
• Pay the Price

“For most goals, the price to pay will obviously not be to butcher a pig but it will be through sacrifice, hard work and focus. This applies to all areas of life be it on the sports field, in a music practice room or whilst spending time on prep each evening.

“The assembly finished with a clip of John Kirwan scoring one of the great World Cup tries, demonstrating the side-step in action – watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnDXXCTcyV8

“All the very best.”

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