YOUNGSTERS at a city school were inspired to aim high by a Commonwealth athlete.
Pupils at Ark Dickens Primary Academy in Buckland were put through their paces in a series of sporting activities this morning.
On behalf of UK-based initiative Sport for Champions, Commonwealth long-jumper Ezekiel Ewulo hosted exercise sessions and a motivational assembly at the Turner Road school.
The sportsman – who has represented both Great Britain and Nigeria throughout his career – put each year group through a pulse-raising four-minute workout before sharing his life story.
Mr Ewulo said: ‘I’m hoping these activities have given the children an insight into what they can do to keep fit in just a short space of time.
‘Through Sport for Champions, many international athletes visit schools to try and give pupils an insight into what it’s like to be active in the outside world – whether they want to be a teacher, a doctor, a lawyer or anything else when they’re older.’
Sally Conteh, 10, is in Year 6.
After trying out Mr Ewulo’s routine alongside her classmates, she said: ‘It was really good fun and it was great to meet Ezekiel. My favourite exercise was the spotty dog.
‘You had to put your left arm and left leg out, then quickly swap to your right arm and leg in a punching and kicking motion.’
Year 6 prefect Zhandos Kellett , 10, said: ‘I love being active. I also enjoyed the spotty dog because it got me the most active and it was the silliest, which I liked.’
Mr Ewulo’s visit was part of a fund raising drive for Ark Dickens Primary Academy.
Each child – of the school’s 400 – was tasked with finding at least £1 in sponsorship for taking part, with cash going towards admin fees for the event, the school itself and the Sport for Champions initiative.
Angie Green, the school’s operations manager and organiser of the visit, said: ‘It’s important the children are keeping active and seeing inspirational people coming into school. The pupils have loved Ezekiel’s visit.’