BRITISH double Paralympian Lauren Steadman proved an inspiration to a group of school children.
The swimmer, who competed at the Beijing and London Paralympic games, is European and World Champion for Paratriathlon.
She was born missing her lower right arm and told pupils at St John’s College in Southsea how her disability hasn’t stopped her from doing anything.
She told the students how it has made her even more determined to achieve.
Lauren was introduced to St John’s College by a current parent, and was pleased to be asked to visit.
She said: ‘If someone was invited to my school to encourage me into sport I would have got into sport a lot sooner.
‘It’s important for me to share my experiences and I think that if you have the ability to inspire people, then you should.
‘The St John’s pupils were very well behaved.
‘They listened carefully and they asked some great questions.’
Lauren wakes at 4.20am every day, and trains for four hours a day – in between lectures and meal times.
She told students that although she follows a strict diet, she enjoys chocolate treats now and again – and makes time for her friends and family at the weekends.
In one week Lauren will swim 30,000 metres, run 12 miles and cycle 50 miles.
So she needs to be organised to ensure she fits all her training in, as well as her studies as she is currently studying a masters degree at the University of Portsmouth.
In a question and answer session that followed, pupils asked Lauren how often she saw her family, why she started cycling, and where she bought her special bike from.
She told the students why the Olympics are so important.
‘The Olympics is special because it brings so many countries together and we all have the chance to compete against one another,’ she said.
Tierney Scott, 10 and in Year 6, is a keen sportswomen herself and plays football, golf, basketball and netball.
She said: ‘The talk was really good.
‘I would like to be like Lauren when I am older.
‘I liked that she kept on trying and she managed to win a gold medal.’
Luca Feltham, nine, is in Year 5 and said: ‘I enjoyed hearing about the competitions Lauren has taken part in.’
The paratriathlon will make its Paralympic debut at the next games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.