On Thursday 23 March, Leeds Trinity University hosted an inspirational speaking event called 'A Night with Jamie Peacock MBE and his team'. James Bowling, editor of local community magazine, The Squeaker, reviews the event.
What does four great speakers, a superb host, an audience of over 200 engaged people, a super venue and a charitable cause make for – you got it- A GREAT NIGHT!
The first 'A night with Jamie Peacock' event, staged in partnership with The Squeaker, was held on the 23rd March at Leeds Trinity University.
Over 200 people attended the event and what was really pleasing was the age range in the audience. People of all ages sat down to enjoy an entertaining and ultimately inspiring night.
I have to admit I was not sure what to expect from the evening and thought it might be solely geared toward business people but I was wrong. The night had something for everyone, businesses entertained their employees and clients, families came to be entertained and individuals mixed during the break at Leeds Trinity University.
Jamie Peacock gave the audience a rare insight into his struggles to make it in the game. He spoke of how he overcame a lack of confidence and ability at the start of his career to reaching the pinnacle of his sport through positive thought and actions.
Hugely successful businessman Richard Norman spoke about his role in the community and the importance of emotional intelligence.
Expertly and humorously hosted by Tanya Arnold the first half of the evening was really enjoyable. The speakers combined their life experiences with key lessons. The atmosphere was light hearted however both Richard and Jamie gave 'food for thought'.
After a short break, Jamie Jones Buchanan electrified the audience with his quick wit and sheer presence. JJB shared personal stories from his childhood and his journey to his current position as the mainstay of Leeds Rhinos, alongside stories of how tidy Kevin Sinfield likes to keep his house!
The last speaker was Andy Reid, a triple amputee who talked about his career in the army and his journey since he was injured in Helmand Province in 2009. What really came through was his love for the army, his selfless lack of pity and his determination to help others and focus on the next chapter of his life.
Perhaps the most powerful image of the evening was Andy's slide showing his platoon and how young those lads looked. My son was absolutely captivated by his story and has been engrossed in Andy's book ever since the event. (Standing Tall)
The story of Andy's bravery and determination to get back to "normal" combined with his sense of humour and his modest manner when recalling the terrible experiences he survived had the room captivated.
What was really clear about the evening was that it did not matter if you liked Rugby League, the speeches went beyond individual sport and an underlying message that I took away was that everyone takes knocks in life and it is how you respond that defines you.