Raising Aspirations

Raising Aspirations

“Leigh is such an inspirational man and the perfect role model” Huw Lloyd, Kingsmead School

Recently I visited The Kingsmead School where, according to Assistant Head Teacher, Huw Lloyd, “pupils often lack self confidence and self-belief”, to deliver a 30 minute talk about cycling around the world and highlight some of the difficulties I overcame on the way to my accomplishment. It was a great pleasure to deliver my stories and show my slides and adventure equipment to the students, who were given the opportunity to ask questions afterwards. As reported in the Derby Evening Telegraph, they “were given 20 minutes to ask Leigh about his feat but they were so moved by his achievement their Q and A session lasted two hours.”

I believe that demonstrating to students, that people in their own community, from the same background as them, can achieve great things is one of the greatest motivators I can offer. “He was just like one of them, and they were absolutely enthralled with his stories” commented Mr Lloyd, “[Leigh] told them they should always believe that anything is possible and to never think that they can’t do something”.

Since returning from my adventure, I have spoken for TEDx, at cycling festivals and have upcoming engagements for National Geographic and large corporate exhibitions, and yet speaking in schools is equally, if not more, inspiring. To see the eyes of students light up as they realise what opportunities are out there for them, and to see how the qualities I developed throughout my journey, can help them overcome their own problems is truly rewarding. Young people continue to surprise me with the quality of their questions and I never leave a school without seeing my journey from a different point of view.

Cycling around the world challenged me; keeping motivated, resilient and maintaining mental health were my obstacles and these are faced by many in everyday life. Since completing my adventure, I am honoured to take my stories of survival in to schools, using my experiences for students to draw inspiration from, helping young people to realise that they too can achieve great things and, in turn, raise their aspirations.

If you would like to book Leigh to speak at your school, company or event, visit the speaking engagements page on his official website. You can also keep up to date with his latest adventure and speaking news on Facebook and follow @leightimmis on Twitter and Instagram

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