Ask the assembly for a show of hands. Who has heard of Usain Bolt? Who knows what he has achieved? At the Beijing Olympics in 2008 he ran 100m in 9.69 seconds.
Then ask who has heard of McDonald Bailey. If you do know who he is, can you tell me what he is known for?
McDonald Bailey grew up in Trinidad and Tobago and came to Britain to fight in the RAF during World War II. After the war, he stayed on, and became an athletics star - he was known as 'the black flash'.
McDonald Bailey was a sprinter and one of the first black athletes to win an Olympic medal for Great Britain. He jointly held the 100m world record at 10.2 seconds between 1951 and 1956.
Even though he could be described as the Usain Bolt of his day very few people have heard of him. He is still alive today - he is more than ninety years old and lives in Trinidad.
By the 1980s, Team GB included black British athletes who won gold medals at the Olympics.
Tessa Sanderson is a female javelin thrower who competed in six Olympic Games from 1976 onwards and won Olympic gold for Team GB in 1984. She was the first British woman to win Olympic gold in a throwing event, and the first black British woman to win a gold medal for Team GB. Tessa wants lots more young people to get involved in sport for London 2012.
In this video we find out about McDonald and Tessa's achievements and how their success has inspired other athletes to go for gold.
McDonald Bailey: UK black history month
Montage of Olympic athletes:
Tessa Sanderson who competed at six Olympics and won gold for javelin in 1984 at Los Angeles
Daley Thompson who won gold medals in the decathlon in Moscow 1980 and Los Angeles 1984
Colin Jackson who won silver at the 1988 Seoul Olympics for 110m hurdles
Denise Lewis who won bronze in Atlanta in 1996 and gold in Sydney in 2000 for the heptathlon
Kelly Holmes who won bronze in 800m in Sydney in 2000 and double gold for 800m and 1500m in Athens in 2004
McDonald Bailey who won bronze in the 100m at Helsinki, 1952
What is it about them that you admire?
Who is McDonald Bailey? What did he achieve?
Do you think it is important that people know about his success?
Who is Tessa Sanderson? What did she achieve?
What effect did her success have on people taking up sport?
Can you name the other athletes shown in the video and their achievements?
Are there black athletes that you consider role models?
Would you rather win an Olympic medal in track or field sports? Email your school's answer to
Would you rather win an Olympic medal in track or field sports?
Ask the assembly question and let us know your school's answer.
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