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Mum's battle inspires Sadie to winning poem

24 Apr 2018
Premier League Writing Stars winner Sadie and mum

11-year-old's verse on resilience of mother's fight against cancer claims national crown in PL Writing Stars competition

Of the 25,200 primary schoolchildren inspired to submit a poem into the Premier League Writing Stars competition, few had more personal reasons to write about resilience than Sadie.

The 11-year-old was motivated to write about the fortitude of her mother and her battle with cancer.

"I am proud of my mum and what she has gone through and been very resilient," the pupil from the Hermitage School, in Woking, Surrey, says.

So, influenced by an upside-down poem she had just enjoyed, Sadie set about doing similar and worked with the inspiration for her writing.

"I sat down on the sofa with my mum and she gave me some words to use, linked to resilience that I put into paragraphs and made into my poem."

But in so doing Sadie had to show her own resilience.

"It was quite difficult," she says. "I was just trying to make sure that it was emotional and it showed how my mum has been living for the last two years with her cancer.

"It took a few nights to do."

Her resilience paid off as her poem, "My Mum's Battle", was named the best from around the country among Key Stage 2 pupils (ages 7-11).

Her poem has been published in the Premier League's first poetry book "Try Try Again", which includes the best poems from all the entries and from stars of the world of football and entertainment.

Sadie and the national Key Stage 1 winner, Amelie, also attended a PL Primary Stars event at St John's Walham Green primary school in Fulham last week, where they were presented on stage with PL Writing Stars judge Lauren Child and two other children authors, Cressida Cowell and Dan Freedman.

Premier League Primary Stars event
National Writing Stars winner, Sadie, centre, and Amelie, to her left, are celebrated at the PL Primary Stars event last week

Holding her book, Sadie says she is still in shock at being named the winner.

"It means a lot to see my name written in there as a winner," she says and she hopes she can inspire others to take up poetry.

"I think anyone can do it if they put it to their heart and write something really emotional and with some feeling into it."

And the person who motivated Sadie to write her poem has herself been inspired by it. 

"It's like another take on it," Sadie's mum, Lisa, says. "I'm going through it and my husband's going through it and it was very open and then to get her to write about it and to see it gives me hope and makes me want to be stronger."

 Sadie reads her winning poem
 Sadie's poem - My Mum's Battle

Just lie down and cry
She would never say
Be resilient
Just give up and die
She wouldn't ever
Try to tolerate the fatigue
Instead she would
Walk away in pain
I know she wouldn't
Show a Mum’s true endurance
The thing she wants to do is
Give up when things go wrong
It is not okay to say
She will not fight this disease
I think that
You shouldn't be fooled into thinking that
Cancer can be looked at another way
My Mum has cancer

(Now read from the bottom to the top)

See: All the PL Writing Stars winners

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