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"Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard"

Joe was a fantastic pupil, who worked really hard to achieve his goals whilst at Worden. He's recently got back in touch to share some of his experiences of university and running. We're sure that with his work ethic and positive attitude he will be successful in his future endeavours. 

Joe Monk, ex-pupil"I left Worden in 2014, ready to progress further in the education system and with my running. I’m not naturally gifted, academically and in a sporting context, but I work immensely hard and I live by the motto `hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard`. Based on my GCSE results, my predicted A-level grades were BCC. I didn’t let this deflate me and my aspirations to get the results I believed I deserved. A-levels are very demanding, with intense studies squeezed into just two years, it filters out those that have the work ethic to succeed. In the end, I came out with AAB. This allowed me to study my passion in Politics at Lancaster University – now ranked 7th in the country and first in the north-west.

"Along with running, to get the results you have to be organised and have an effective structure you can that you can adhere to. Planning and consistency is key. With running, or sport in general, you need to be patient for the results to show. I really started to take the running seriously during my A-levels and from there I haven’t looked back. When not racing I usually run between 75-80 miles a week, and more 60-65 miles when racing. Doing any sort of exercise has been fundamental to helping with my studies. It teaches you discipline, how to be organised and gives you the impetus to strive for more. It gives you the opportunity to let off steam from your studies and boosts energy levels.

"It’s a great feeling when you know the training pays off when you perform to the best of your ability. My current personal bests are 15:12 for 5k, 51:27 for 10 miles and 70:18 for a Half Marathon. I recently ran the Great Manchester 10k, managing to secure an elite entry. Here I ran 31:17 for 10k for a big PB. As an athlete you always strive for more and I know I can go quicker. But the key is to be patient, be consistent and the results will flourish.

"I want to conclude on one final point for all students to take note of. I cannot stress enough the level of support you get during secondary school. The teachers at Worden pushed me to achieve and helped to show that targets are there to be smashed. Many can’t wait to finish school and be rid of wearing school uniforms, but as soon as your first day of college or apprenticeships begins, it will soon make you realise how much you miss school and the level of support given to you. Make the most of your time with the help from your teachers, they are there to ensure you reach your deserved potential."