AN INTERNATIONAL hurdler inspired youngsters during a visit to a school in Fareham.
Joseph Hylton gave children at Orchard Lea Junior an insight into what it is like to be a professional athlete.
Emily Locke, Year 3 teacher and PE manager at the school said: ‘We are always looking for ways to get our pupils to enjoy sport and become more competitive, so the visit from Joseph was great.’
Throughout the day the young athletes were given the chance to watch Joseph complete a circuit of hurdles and get some tips.
Miss Locke said: ‘The hurdles weren’t the normal high ones that are used in competition but the children still enjoyed watching him.’
The youngsters were then put to the challenge of a completing session of fitness, including star jumps and press-ups.
Year 6 pupil George Pink said: ‘It was fun doing the exercise but hard work.
‘I enjoyed doing the activities.’
Each group was timed for 30 seconds to see how many of each activity they could complete and the winners were given a prize by the teachers.
Joseph joined some of the pupils to give a talk about his training and why he decided to become an athlete.
Miss Locke said: ‘He told the children that his school had a day like this when he was younger which made him want to get into the sport.’
The assembly helped children to understand Joseph’s training sessions and build enthusiasm about a life in sport.
Emma Knight, 10, said: ‘It made me want to continue with my gymnastics and get better at it when I’m older.’
The event was sponsored by Super Schools which is a project that aims to promote healthy lifestyles and raise aspirations among young people.
To give back to the organisation, the children were all given fundraising forms before the day to ask their friends and family to sponsor them for the whole day or per activity they completed.
‘Half of the money will go towards replacing some of our sports equipment and the rest will be given to up-and-coming athletes,’ said Miss Locke.
The school held a heroes’ day after the visit, which saw the children dress up as someone who inspires them.
Many went as athletes or other sports stars from the London 2012 Olympic Games or Premiership footballers.
‘It was very surprising there were so many children dressed up as sports players but it shows that they were really inspired by the visit from Joseph.’