HUNDREDS of pupils were inspired by a paralympic swimmer who spent yesterday visiting schools ahead of the Olympic Games.
Kate Grey spent time with pupils across the area as part of Lloyds TSB National School Sport Week, which is using the Olympics to encourage young people to take part in sport.
Kate, 23, lost her arm in a freak accident when she was a toddler.
She competed in the Beijing games but didn’t make it to the London games this year and will be working with national media instead.
She said: ‘It’s a huge opportunity for me to still be a part of it and inspire kids in a different way, and get them involved in sports.
‘It’s a great way of getting a huge number of kids involved. It’s all so real now and it’s all over the TV.
‘Everyone is really enthusiastic about it. I have got a big buzz from doing it all.
‘Every school and every child has got a different story to tell. I get to know them and they get to know me.’
More than 650 pupils from Priory School in Portsmouth were involved.
James Kent, head of PE, said: ‘She was unbelievable with the pupils. It was really inspirational to have someone talking to them.’
The pupils took part in their own sports day tackling a variety of sports such as beach volleyball, rounders, tennis and athletics.
They also had a go at some paralympic sports such as wheelchair basketball.
Mr Kent added: ‘The feedback from the staff was that the pupils were brilliant.
‘They said it was one of the best things they have ever done at the school. We tried to give a real feel-good buzz about sport. The team ethos was really apparent.’
Meanwhile, Kate also visited schools in Gosport including Rowner Infants and Rowner juniors.
Children at Rowner Infant School took part in 12 different sports to mark the day, including javelin, long jump and penalty shootouts.
The children were put into different teams representing different countries and the USA team were announced as the winners.
Debra Redpath, headteacher at Rowner Infant School, said: ‘It’s been inspirational for the children.
‘Just to make it real has made a difference to their attitude to sport especially those that find it more challenging. Kate was so lovely with them. I don’t think our children always believe that they can do these things but once they meet somebody who has, it makes it more real for them.’