Trans-Pacific rower Natalia inspires pupils

Trans-Pacific rower Natalia Cohen is pictured with Pocklington School headmaster Mark Ronan.
Trans-Pacific rower Natalia Cohen is pictured with Pocklington School headmaster Mark Ronan.

The importance of working together and making a positive difference were highlighted by guest speaker Natalia Cohen at Pocklington School’s Prizegiving ceremony.

Natalia was among a team of British women who became one of the first female crew to row 8,446 miles across the Pacific Ocean.

In an entertaining account of the highs and lows of the adventure, she told the pupils, parents and staff that despite encountering storms and sharks, and suffering salt sores, blisters and exhaustion, she loved it.

The ceremony, held in the school’s packed Sports Hall, celebrated the hard work and achievements of pupils across the school.

Natalia said: “It was all about developing our mental resilience, working together, finding our team spirit, making a positive difference and enjoying the journey. It was about fighting and overcoming adversity, and dealing with different types of challenges… but, most importantly, it was about trust, not only in ourselves, but in our team.”

Headmaster Mark Ronan spoke about the importance of real conversations to break down barriers, especially in a world where fake news, false online identities and false propaganda can wreak real damage.

His was ‘interrupted’ by a performance of The Smell of Rebellion by Upper Sixth leaver Sam Hird as Miss Trunchbull.

As the rapturous applause died down, Mr Ronan said he was thankful to have the privilege of working with colleagues who were not from the Miss Trunchbull stable of teaching.