A GROUP of Southampton students were treated to an inspirational speech from a GB Paralympian.

Year 10 and 11 students from Oasis Academy Lordshill were thrilled to have a virtual call with Rugby Paralympian Aaron Phipps at the end of last week.

The speech was a prize from the city’s Mayflower 400 Giving Thanks competition.

The students had impressed the judges with their messages of gratefulness earlier in the year.

The theme continued in this talk with Aaron sharing about how much more grateful he had become for small thing since his life was changed in Year 11.

Aaron lost his legs below the knee and some of his fingers when he contracted meningitis as he was finishing secondary school.

In hospital for months and with only a 20 per cent chance of survival, he came back stronger than ever, with a great sense of determination.

Liz Lea, Assistant Principal for Personal Development at Oasis Academy Lordshill, said: "We were proud to host Aaron today for his inspiring life talk.

"We couldn’t hear a pin drop across the classes as he spoke, and students were full of questions at the end of his session to learn more from his experiences.”

Aaron told students about how he had first finished the Totton 10km race before moving on to the London Marathon.

As the fourth fastest male finisher and already playing Wheelchair Rugby, he was approached to represent his country.

There he met Olympians, Mo Farah and Jess Ennis.

He showed students clips of himself in action in the Paralympics and talked about the sense of achievement he and the team had reaching such a high level in the sport.

More recently, Aaron became the first wheelchair user to climb Kilimanjaro without assistance. Unfortunately, his wheelchair wasn’t up to the task and through blood, sweat and tears, he climbed most of the mountain on his hands and knees.

Aaron finished by encouraging students to make good choices, not to be miserable and to have a positive mindset.