Graduation 2016: 'Dare to dream' says Colin Jackson as he picks up Fellowship
26 October 2016
“Dare to dream” was the message from sporting legend Colin Jackson as he received an honorary fellowship from Wrexham Glyndwr University.
The former 110m-hurdles world champion and world record holder picked up the award for services to sport.
Vice-Chancellor, Professor Maria Hinfelaar, presented him with the accolade in front of hundreds of students, including those graduating from degrees in Business and Psychology.
“Thank you very much indeed for this fellowship,” said Colin, who won a silver medal at the 1988 Olympics.
“I spend a lot more time in this part of Wales than I’d imagine a lot of people think, and I set my first Welsh record just down the road from here, so Wrexham holds very fond memories for me.
“Never in my life did I think I’d have the career that I managed to etch out. When I was a young boy I dreamt about being the best and I was taught right away that if I worked hard enough I could achieve the best.”
He added: “The advice I always give to people is to dare to dream. It can inspire you and motivate you but at some point you have to turn those dreams into a goal. A goal is a dream with a deadline.
“Please, dare to dream and enjoy your future.”
Earlier, the 49 year-old met with Sports Science students for a question and answer session.
Colin spoke of his many achievements and how he almost turned his back on athletics in favour of a career as a cricketer.
He went on to become a two-time world and Commonwealth champion and four-time European champion, having remained unbeaten in 44 races during 1993-1995.
A career as a commentator and broadcaster with the BBC followed, as well as an appearance on the hit television show, Strictly Come Dancing, where he was runner-up.
“It was exciting to meet the students and to be here in Wrexham because as an athlete, sometimes you win medals, and that’s exciting, but then medals come to you from different angles like this so it’s a real honour,” said Colin.
“I hope the students found some of what I had to say inspirational; I’ve had ups and downs in my career, especially when I had injuries, but when I look back on it all I was very lucky.
“I was never able to pick up that elusive Olympic gold medal, which was very frustrating as I had such a long career, but injuries played a major part in that sadly.
“I won everything either side of the Olympics but either side things would go wrong – I had seven operations on my knee, and other problems – but all in all when I reflect back I certainly can’t be disappointed in what I achieved.”
He added: “Sometimes in life we focus too much on the negatives and don’t appreciate the things we do really well, the bad news is news. For me, I look on the rosier side of life and think that after all, I didn’t do too bad.”