'Inspirational' Olympian Charley honoured during visit to former school
- Credit: Mick Howes
There were cheers and huge applause alongside lots of smiles and excitement as Olympian Charley Davison was honoured at a special celebration.
The 27-year-old Team GB Olympic boxer was treated to a celebratory homecoming parade at the site of her former middle school in south Lowestoft.
Pupils and staff at Red Oak Primary School in Lowestoft presented the "inspirational" super mum with a series of awards to honour her remarkable achievements in representing her country at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The talented Olympian had beaten the world number four seed emphatically at the Games earlier this year, but hopes of reaching the quarter finals in the women’s flyweight U51kg competition ended with a narrow defeat to the Olympic number two seed.
As Charley prepares for the Commonwealth Games next year, and eyes another potential shot at the Olympics, she returned to her former school grounds this week.
During a special ceremony at the school on Southwell Road on Monday, October 18 Charley was presented with a Team Red Oak t-shirt, a gold Red Oak sports medal and a Red Oak Primary School sports award trophy, which was "a special thank you for representing our country at the Olympic Games."
Johnny Lee, PE leader at Red Oak Primary, said: "Charley went to our school building when it was Kirkley Middle School and she also still has a brother - Kerrison - at the school."
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Pupils and staff lined up outside the school's sports hall for the special ceremony, before Charley went into the classrooms to sign autographs and answer questions from the enthusiastic youngsters.
During the presentation, Mr Lee said: "We are really lucky to have a special guest come join us.
"Charley is famous for the very difficult sport of boxing, and is one of the best boxers in the whole world.
"This year Charley went to the Olympic Games.
"Charley used to go to this school when it was called Kirkley Middle School, these buildings used to be Charley's middle school."
With gasps among the excited youngsters, Mr Lee added: "Charley inspired the whole country this year by going to Tokyo and we are really proud of you."
A series of awards were presented to Charley - including a Red Oak Primary School sports award trophy from her brother Kerrison Burrows, who is in year three at the school.
God Save The Queen was then impeccably observed as the Union flag was raised and "a big round of applause" echoed out around the school grounds.
Charley then presented the school with a signed Team GB training vest that will be installed on the Red Oak hall of fame wall in the sports hall.
Mr Lee added: "With Anthony Ogogo and Terry Butcher (former pupils) there is something special in this school - so I think you need to drink the water (here) as it gives you super powers."
Describing it as a "very important event" at Red Oak, headteacher Heather Madsen said: "We are so lucky to have people that went to our school that are inspirational.
"Charley has dedicated her time, put in lots of effort and hard work to achieve.
"If you try your best and never give up, you can do it.
"We are very grateful to Charley to come to our school - it shows what can be achieved."
The Olympian was then given 'three cheers' by those present before she was given a tour of the existing primary school site.
Charley "remembered all the old classrooms" and saw "how much the school had changed" at first hand, before speaking to the children about what it takes to be an Olympian, as well as showing them some of the boxing equipment she used in Tokyo.
Admitting she had "really enjoyed" the day, and was delighted with the recognition, Charley said: "I will start training again next month in preparation for the Commonwealths and then aim to go back to Sheffield in January."