Being in a rather remote country has its drawbacks, but it also has many benefits. One such example waltzed into our school in early October. It’s not every day that a living sporting legend is introduced to you when you’re supposed to be planning an English lesson.
The picture above is of a woman who, in her pomp in the late 1990s, was known as the ‘Swiss Miss’. Tennis fans will immediately recognise the lady to be Martina Hingis, a serial Grand Slam winner and the youngest ever woman to be the number one ladies’ tennis player on the planet.
The reason she came to the school is due to people who know people who know people; a reason that is way over my head. I do, however, highly doubt that Martina Hingis would come to a school if I was teaching in, say, Cardiff. Our remote location means that we are one of very few schools who would be able to attract such a celebrity to come and visit us, even if that visit is for only an hour.
After quickly educating my children about her, we all formed a guard of honour as Miss Hingis arrived. She gave a quick speech, toured the school and met many people, myself included. We had been warned in advance that we would not get pictures with her due to her tight schedule, but it spoke volumes of the woman that she stayed significantly longer than she was supposed to, resulting in her being late to visit the Prime Minister of the country.
It is commonly-stated that world-famous celebrities and sports stars may not fully appreciate their respective fan bases, but Martina Hingis struck me as a genuine, friendly woman with a fantastic smile. I am very appreciative of the fact that our school managed to persuade her to come and visit. A lovely woman, and a lovely midweek surprise in school.
Love you all