Skip to content ↓

Manchester High School for Girls


Paralympic swimmer and gold medallist, Jonathan Fox, was on dry land today when he visited Manchester High School for Girls’ Preparatory Department to launch the School’s Sports Relief celebrations.

Alex, Ameera and Sophia were lucky enough to model Jonathan's gold and silver medals.

A backstroke specialist, Jonathan was born with cerebral palsy but has never let his disability be a barrier to success. He won Great Britain’s first gold medal in the pool at the London Paralympics in 2012 and, following a three-year layoff with a shoulder injury, he made a triumphant return to the circuit in 2016 to claim silver medals at the Rio games and the IPC Swimming European Championships.

Of his visit to Manchester High’s Preparatory Department he commented: “I train just down the road from the school at the Manchester Aquatics Centre so it’s been brilliant to meet some of my closest supporters. I really hope I’ve inspired the girls with tales of my journey to gold medal success.

“That said, and it may sound cheesy, but I really do believe in the age-old adage that, ‘…it’s the taking part that counts’. It’s crucial we get this message across to children so they feel confident to just get their kit on and get involved. You don’t have to win a gold medal to feel both the physical and mental health benefits that sport provides.”

Mrs Helen Mortimer, Head of the Preparatory Department at Manchester High said: “As well as doing our bit for charity, Sport Relief is always a fantastic opportunity for us to encourage our pupils to get, and stay, active.

Paralympic athlete, Jonathan Fox

“Sport is a vital part of life here at Manchester High and not just for the naturally athletic. It is important for all girls to develop physical confidence at school and we encourage everyone to participate. The variety of what we offer means every girl can find an activity they enjoy, from traditional sports such as swimming and hockey, to less mainstream activities such as taekwondo and fencing.”

Manchester High’s Preparatory Department will be fundraising for Sports Relief on Friday 23rd March when teachers and girls will be donning their sports kit for a £1 donation to the cause. Weather permitting, everyone will also be participating in a Sport Relief mile around the school’s grounds.

Eight year-old pupil, Sophia  said: “It was brilliant meeting Jonathan today and getting to wear his gold medal. His visit has really made me think about what I want to achieve in my PE lessons and I’m going to start by completing the Sport Relief mile in a great time with a big smile on my face.”

The Preparatory Department at Manchester High School for Girls is currently welcoming applications for the September 2018 Reception Class. If you would like more information, please contact: or 0161 224 0447.