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Keep On Going

Sometimes, we all need help from our friends

by Rebecca Parkinson (revised, originally published in 2011)

Suitable for Whole School (Sec)


To encourage us to persevere, even when the going gets tough.

Preparation and materials

  • Have available the following YouTube videos and the means to show them during the assembly:

    -  ‘Perseverance, Derek Redmond’ is 2.38 minutes long and is available at:
    ‘Alistair Brownlee gives up chance to win race and helps brother Jonny’ is 2.10 minutes long and is available at:

  • Optional: you may wish to arrange readers for the Bible passages, Philippians 3.14, Romans 5.3-4 and Galatians 6.9.


  1. The definition of perseverance is persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.

    Perseverance isn’t easy. It means that even when things get really hard for us, we don’t give up. A well-known saying is, ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going’!

    In school, and in life, all of us will have times when things are difficult for u. Then, we will face a decision: do we give up or do we persevere?

  2. Show the Youtube video, ‘Perseverance, Derek Redmond’.

    This video shows a young athlete, Derek Redmond, who had trained all his life for the race. (The man who appears on the track alongside him is his father.)
    The clip is 2.38 minutes long and is available at:

  3. Show the YouTube video, ‘Alistair Brownlee gives up chance to win race and helps brother Jonny’.

    This video shows Alistair Brownlee giving up the chance to win the World Triathalon Series in Mexico in order to help his brother complete the race.

  4. At some point, all of us face difficulties in our lives. Some of us face difficulties in school with our academic work, some of us find sport difficult and some of us struggle to make friends. Don’t give up! Persevere and keep on going.

    In both of the videos that we have watched, someone came alongside a person in difficulty to help them across the finishing line. Derek Redmond’s dad came out of the crowd to help his son achieve his aim. Alistair Brownlee not only helped his brother, but also pushed him across the line ahead of himself. In our lives, we sometimes need help to keep going. We never know when it might be us who need the help of others. So, let’s encourage one another to keep going to achieve our aims.

  5. There are lots of verses in the Bible that talk about perseverance. Here are three:

    – ‘I press on towards the goal’ (Philippians 3.14)
    – ‘Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope’ (Romans 5.3-4)
    – ‘Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest, if we do not give up’ (Galatians 6.9)

Time for reflection

Here are a few quotations about perseverance. After each one, let’s pause for a moment to think about its meaning:

– ‘The greatest oak was once a little nut who held its ground’ (unknown author)
‘When the world says, “Give up,” Hope whispers, “Try it one more time” (unknown author)
‘Consider the postage stamp: its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing till it gets there’ (Josh Billings)
‘It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer’ (Albert Einstein)

Dear God,
Sometimes, it’s hard to keep trying when we find things hard
or when everything seems to be going wrong.
Please help us never to give up, but always to persevere.
Please help us to be people who encourage others to keep trying
as we all aim for different goals in life.
Thank you that you never give up on us.

Publication date: May 2017   (Vol.19 No.5)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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