Junior Prize Giving once again allowed us to celebrate the achievements of boys in Years 6 to 9. In a now well-established tradition, our guest of honour was a distinguished OL, this year author Mr Chris Hawkes.
During his time here, 1983 to 1990, Chris, a left-arm spin bowler and batsman, won the Daily Telegraph Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year on two occasions. He played for England at both U15 & U19 level and then briefly played first-class cricket for Leicestershire before pursuing a career primarily in sports publishing. He has previously been editor of the Playfair Cricket Annual and currently has 10 of his 16 books listed on Amazon. Whilst the vast majority of his publications involve sporting records, he has diversified with books about dogs and the human body: he is currently working with Catherine Grainger, the Olympic Rower, on her autobiography.
In his speech he talked about being a prize winner himself 28 years ago, his schoolboy passion for sport and books and how he had built his career as an editor and author after losing his contract at Leicestershire CCC at the age of 20. He ended with these words: “So my advice to you is clear: congratulate yourselves for what you have achieved; pat yourselves on the back tonight for a job well done; be aware that greater challenges lie ahead of you and that the best of you lies ahead of you. Be prepared for the fact that sometimes you will fall and that sometimes you might fail. But remember that it is not your failures that will ever define you…it’s the way you react to them that counts.”