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Marlborough Rotary has its own Olympic inspiration for today’s teenagers facing tough options

Benjamin Lloyd (RC of Tewkesbury), Rory Watson (RC of Swindon Thamesdown), Liam Steel and Molly Reid (Marlborough and District Rotary Club)Benjamin Lloyd (RC of Tewkesbury), Rory Watson (RC of Swindon Thamesdown), Liam Steel and Molly Reid (Marlborough and District Rotary Club)Inspiration from the golden Olympic Games is not the only way to inspire people to take up challenges in tough times – a youth leadership scheme supported by Marlborough Rotary Club has also just proved its worth. 

Two teenage students, back from an intensive, six-day course at the Dean Field Studies Centre, in the Forest of Dean, have revealed how their confidence has been boosted thanks to Rotary Youth Leadership Awards. 

Molly Reid, 18, and Liam Steele, 17, have now been presented with certificates of achievement after taking part in activities ranging from abseiling and canoeing to speaking in public and self-assessment. 

“It was really hard going with long days, which was not what I expected,” Molly, a student at St John’s, Marlborough, now working at Waitrose while hoping to go to university, told Marlborough News Online. 

 “I had to stand up and make a speech before the 39 other teenagers on the course.  I had never done that before.  That alone definitely improved my self-confidence.  The course was very well worth doing.” 

And Liam, a student in his first year at Swindon’s New College, where he is studying public services, was equally impressed.  “It really helped me and boosted my confidence,” he said. 

“I’m very glad I took the course after hearing about the leadership awards from a neighbour, who is a Rotarian.” 

Howard Small, president of Marlborough Rotary, pointed out that the leadership awards scheme, has been running locally since 2004, a total of 16 students being sent on previous courses at a cost of around £500 each. 

It was but one of a number of charities and causes that the 38 members of the club supported and raised funds for. 

One of the club’s notable successes was raising £3,000 last year to help victims of the Christchurch earthquake in New Zealand, where Marlborough has strong links with its namesake town. 

“The students  do come back from the course very changed,” Mr Small, a building surveyor, told Marlborough News Online. 

“The results of the training experience are dramatic and have a lasting impact on young people. 

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