On Thursday 14th June 2018 ex-student, Gavin Ashton gave an assembly on his career as a professional jockey entitled ‘My journey becoming a jockey.’ Mr Newell proudly introduced Gavin, explaining he joined Crompton House in 2006 and stayed on until sixth form before moving on to Hopwood Hall College. During his time at CHS as a member of Cocker House Gavin excelled at sport, was a peer mentor, played in the school band and achieved his bronze, silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh awards.
Gavin explained that his journey began with a love of sport, especially football. He was unsure of what he wanted to do as a career and considered joining the army or being a PE teacher. He took a part-time job pot-washing in a pub whilst studying, which led to a chance conversation in which Gavin was told he was the perfect build for a jockey. Despite never having ridden, he declined an offer of a football scholarship in America and joined the British racing school instead, adding that he spent most of early rides looking for the seatbelt. After developing his skills, he has since been given his jockey’s licence and came second in his first professional race and winning his second one.
When answering questions from current pupils he explained that when walking the halls at Crompton House he wanted his picture on the wall as a successful sportsman and this inspired him in his career. He explained that every time the sport mini bus left school he wanted to be on it, no matter what the sport.
His speech was peppered with some inspiring advice for current students:
- ‘Work hard, be 100% committed, don’t be half-hearted.’
- ‘Take praise, but don’t let it go to your head.’
- ‘If anyone tells you that you won’t be successful, prove them wrong.’
- ‘CHS is amazing, make the most of it. Come in smiling and bubbling and take each opportunity you are given.’
One of Gavin’s ambitions is to win the Derby – with his attitude, we would not bet against him.