Lea and Gardson children inspired by athlete’s visit

This Is Wiltshire: Pupils with GB athlete and medallist Rob Mitchell                       (DV1142) Pupils with GB athlete and medallist Rob Mitchell (DV1142)

Team GB athlete and medallist Rob Mitchell inspired some of Wiltshire’s potential future Olympians when he visited a primary school near Malmesbury last week.

The high jump athlete, who lives in Trowbridge, chatted to children at Lea and Gardson School about his experiences before helping to set up the school’s sponsored sports fundraiser.

Headteacher Kay Vousden said: “He came in for an initial chat and then he helped to set up the sponsored sports event.

“He spoke to the children about who had inspired him when he was young, as well as talking about the people who support him now.

“He showed us some medals from the Commonwealth games as well.

“The children loved it. A lot of them were very inspired by him.

“They were all trying 110 per cent at the fundraiser because they all wanted to impress him.”

Children took part in circuits including star jumps and sit-ups, raising more than £500, which has been divided between the school’s sports equipment and funding GB athletes.

Originally from Hemel Hemp-stead, Mr Mitchell, 33, works in Wiltshire as a personal trainer.

The Welsh athlete finished seventh at the 2006 Common-wealth games and broke the Welsh outdoor high jump record of 2.25m just over 10 years ago, and the Welsh indoor record of 2.24m in 2009.

“Rob set the children the task afterwards of doing the four activities in their circuits every day for ten days and then they have to log on to his website to see what their scores are to see if they have improved,” Mrs Vousden added.

“We want to motivate the children to work hard at sports.

“It will inspire the children to work hard in all their sports classes and to think about how they can get fitter.

“It has given some of them the inspiration to try extra hard and we have got some little athletes here.”

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