Jonathan Edwards returns for Speech Day

West Buckland welcomes back world record holder and Olympian champion just weeks before the Olympics in Tokyo.

Jonathan Edwards Returns for Speech Day

With the Tokyo Olympics just a month away, the Olympian, TV presenter and former West Buckland pupil, Jonathan Edwards, is marking his 18.29m triple jump world record set in 1995 in Gothenburg, by joining us as guest speaker on Speech Day, on Friday 2nd July. Jonathan will present awards at the prize-giving ceremony and spend time with pupils and staff, reminiscing about his school days and inspiring students to achieve their dreams and maybe even go on to be world champion athletes too.

Jonathan attended West Buckland between 1976 and 1984, during which he excelled both academically and on the sports field, before going on to Durham University to read Physics. His former Headmaster, Michael Downward, who steps down this year from his position as Trustee to the school’s Foundation, noted his exceptional sporting talent at an early age.
Visitors to the school can visit the sports hall named after him and see where his extraordinary jump of 18.29m has been marked out in a brick track, including the exact points where he skipped, hopped and jumped into the record books.

Photo by Guy Harrop 21/05/12. Olympic former triple jumper Jonathan Edwards revisits his former school at West Buckland, near Exmoor with the Olympic torch after his torch carry in Ilfracombe, Devon
from shoot: olympic torch

Headmaster, Phillip Stapleton, is delighted that Jonathan can attend Speech Day, “We had invited Jonathan to speak at last year’s Speech Day before it had to be cancelled due to COVID. The children are so excited to hear Jonathan’s story and take inspiration from it. He is a fine example of someone whose gone from local North Devon boy to world class achiever and how location should never be considered a barrier to ambition.”

Jonathan added, “It was at West Buckland where I took my first ever triple jump and with training and perseverance, the school helped me realise I had potential and could pursue a career in athletics, alongside going to university. Who knows what today’s pupils may achieve in the future? I’m very much looking forward to meeting them and finding out.”