Donít Give Up!
Good things come to those who work for it
by Becky May
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To explore the value of perseverance through the example of Geraint Thomas, winner of the Tour de France 2018.
Preparation and materials
- Have available the following images and the means to display them during the assembly:
- Geraint Thomas celebrating victory, available at: https://tinyurl.com/yc92l5wq
- Geraint Thomas racing, available at: https://tinyurl.com/y8j6fm6v
- Geraint Thomas on the winner’s podium, available at: https://tinyurl.com/ydcxb3me
- Optional: you may wish to organize for a child or staff member to cycle into the assembly for maximum impact, or even have a short tricycle race if space permits.
- Show the image of Geraint Thomas celebrating victory.
Ask the children to raise their hand if they know who is in the picture.
- Show the images of Geraint Thomas racing and on the winner’s podium.
Ask the children to spot clues as to who this person is, what he likes to do and what he has achieved.
- Explain that the pictures show Geraint Thomas, who achieved something incredible this summer. In July 2018, Geraint became the first Welshman ever to win the Tour de France, the most famous cycling race in the world.
- Give the children the following facts.
- Geraint Thomas did not just wake up one day and decide to win a race; he had to work hard over many years to get to this stage.
- Geraint loved sport at school and took up cycling when he was ten, after watching other cyclists at his local velodrome. He was very good at it and soon started winning races and events. However, being good at cycling still wasn’t enough to win him the Tour de France; Geraint needed something else, too - perseverance.
- Ask the children if they can explain what ‘perseverance’ means.
Listen to a range of responses.
- Continue to tell the children about Geraint Thomas and how he showed perseverance.
- Geraint Thomas entered his first Tour de France in 2007, where, out of 141 racers, he finished second to last. Many people might have been tempted to give up if that was their first race experience, but not Geraint – he was determined to persevere.
- In 2013, Geraint finished the Tour de France, helping his teammate to first place while riding with a fractured pelvis.
- Geraint has faced plenty of obstacles on his path to winning the Tour de France, including broken bones, knocks and falls, as well as enduring years of training.
- Finally, in 2018, after more than ten years of trying, he won the Tour de France.
- Geraint didn’t give up. His perseverance was enough to gain him the most prestigious prize in the cycling world.
Time for reflection
In the Tour de France, a yellow jersey is worn by the rider who has completed the stages of the race so far in the least time. Point out that wearing the yellow jersey for even one stage of the race is a lifetime achievement for some cyclists. To be the overall winner is an amazing achievement.
Ask the following questions.
- What might your ‘yellow jersey’ be?
- What is the prize that excites you most, the goal or dream that you strive for?
Pause to allow time for thought.
Point out that we cannot all win the premier prize in the cycling world, or achieve greatness on this scale, but we all have goals that we can aim for. Perhaps it’s a career or job we’d love to have in the future. Perhaps it’s something right now: being chosen for a sports team, moving on to a new reading stage, making a new friend or climbing a particular mountain.
Ask the children, ‘What do you need to do to persevere?’
Pause to allow time for thought.
Having a dream is one thing, but it’s not enough. People don’t just wake up one day and achieve their goal. Whatever we long to achieve, we have to be prepared to put in the work and persevere, even when our goal seems out of reach.
In the Bible, Paul wrote about this many times when he described what it means to be a follower of God. On one occasion, he said, ‘we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.’ (Romans 5.4) Paul knew that being a follower of Jesus would be tough, and that it would require a lot of perseverance.
Geraint Thomas is a great example of this: he struggled through his suffering and persevered to demonstrate his hope that he would win the prize.
Let’s be quiet for a moment and think about the following questions. Maybe we could close our eyes as we think.
- What do we hope to achieve?
- What do we need to do to help move towards our hopes for the future?
- Is there anyone we could talk to about our dreams, who may be able to help?
Persevering is not easy, but there is a huge sense of achievement when you keep trying and don’t give up easily.
Thank you for Geraint Thomas and his example of perseverance.
Please help us to try hard to achieve our goals and dreams.
May we find something worth striving for and not give up easily.
Help us to see obstacles as opportunities.
Help us never to give up trying to do our best.
‘Get back up again’ by Anna Kendrick, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yf5o-d0qg1g
‘Stronger’ by Fischy Music, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPvNlkBTk00