Team GB Olympian Joe Choong visits his old school

Whitgift School gets an inspirational visit from ex-pupil and Team GB Olympian, Joseph Choong.

Whitgift School was delighted to receive a visit from Olympic athlete and Old Whitgiftian, Joseph Choong, on Thursday 8 September. Choong took up modern pentathlon (which consists of running, swimming, shooting, fencing and horse-riding) when he joined Whitgift. Although still considered a junior athlete, he was selected to represent Great Britain and was the youngest member in the Team GB pentathlon quartet.

The 21-year-old, who studies Mathematics at the University of Bath, qualified for the Summer Games in Rio by finishing 7th at the 2015 European Championships. Choong has made his mark on the senior circuit with a promising 4th place as his career best to-date. He performed outstandingly on his Olympic debut, securing a top 10 finish, which bodes well for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

After giving an assembly to Upper School pupils on the merits of hard work, he took the time to meet with Whitgift’s current crop of modern pentathletes for a Q & A session, and also signed his Olympic vest for the School. Whitgift hosted a lunch in Joe’s honour, with the School’s Headmaster, Director of Sport and his coaches during his time at Whitgift.

Whitgift’s Head of Modern Pentathlon, Miss Laura Gomersall, commented: “It was absolutely fantastic to have Joe come back to Whitgift to share his Olympic experience. You could see that the boys were totally inspired and able to relate to Joe, having come through the Whitgift Sport Programme himself. There are fantastic opportunities for boys at Whitgift to reach the highest level and I hope to see many more Whitgift Olympians in the years to come.”

Martin van Domselaar, a Whitgift Upper First Form modern pentathlete, took part in the Q&A session and said afterwards, “It was exciting to meet an Olympic athlete, especially since he used to come to Whitgift.  He has inspired me to carry on training hard to reach my goals.”

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