Rosie Clarke (OC 2003-2010)
How did sport help you after Caterham?
I am a firm believer that sport exposes an individual’s characteristics in a really raw form. It enables you to understand yourself and your teammates on a deeper level, and sport at Caterham helped me to develop and grow in ways that are so difficult to achieve in the classroom. My year group at Caterham had some amazing athletes, but we weren’t a team of superstars, our scorecard was a real mixed bag of wins and losses for both netball and lacrosse! From an early age I learned the importance of teamwork, humility, resilience, and hard work all through the lens of sport. Caterham as a school equipped me with a great education, a curious mind, and the confidence to chase my dreams, Caterham Sport provided me with the tools to make those dreams a reality.
What is your favourite memory of sports at school?
As an individual it would have to be the house cross-country race from when I was in the First Year. It was back in the day when we used to run up to viewpoint and then finish with a lap of Home Field. I remember feeling like I was floating the whole way round and beating every girl from the First Year through to Upper Sixth as a tiny 11-year-old in my 3 sizes too big bright green Underwood vest!
In a team setting the most fun I had was the lacrosse and rugby tour that we took to Germany in sixth form. I cannot for the life of me remember whether we won any games, but it was such a great few days away, and a real bonding experience for the team as a whole!
What is the achievement that you are most proud of?
In a more general sense I am proud of how true I have remained to my personal beliefs and character throughout my sporting career, traits that were moulded through my time at Caterham. Since leaving Caterham I have completed two degrees (Account and Finance BSc and Management MBA) and had a hugely successful international career on the athletics track.
I specialised in the 3000m steeplechase, highlights from my sporting years include being 3-time British Champion, representing at 2 European Championships, 2 World Championships and placing 4th at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
However, what I am most proud of is how I have conducted myself away from the track. I have spoken up against injustice, challenged the status quo when change and progress was needed and generally helped to raise others up around me. Obviously, I am proud of my accolades from competition, but it is these behaviours that give me the warm feeling of pride as opposed to the medals.
Are you still in contact with any of your school team mates?
I am not in direct contact with many of my teammates, but I follow along and celebrate any achievements I spot on social media!
How has your experience of sport at Caterham helped after school?
Sport at Caterham taught me many things, but a big lesson was that you didn’t have to be the best. If you were willing to keep trying, to keep plugging away, then you should set yourself goals and get to work. Never in a million years did I think I would leave Caterham in 2010 and go on to have a professional sporting career, and yet here we are!
I am still in contact with many of the Caterham sport staff that taught me, and they have been a fundamental pillar of support for me through my sporting career, I am so grateful to them all.
What advice would you give your schoolgirl self?
Sometimes you’ll win, sometimes you’ll lose, but you will always grow. Listen to others, be respectful, but ultimately be true to yourself. Little one, you have no idea what big things are just around the corner.