British Olympian Jessica Ennis-Hill visits Heysham primary school
One of Britain's greatest ever Olympians has visited a Heysham primary school.
Jessica Ennis-Hill had a very busy morning meeting pupils and parents at Trumacar Nursery and Community Primary School.
Jessica, Olympic gold medallist for heptathlon at the 2012 London Olympic Games, visited Trumacar on Thursday after the school won a nationwide competition.
The athlete, who recently retired from the sport, was overwhelmed with hugs and drawings from hundreds of pupils as she took a tour around the school.
“It’s been fantastic,” said Jessica.
“It’s so nice to come to different areas and see how different schools work and how they incorporate sport into their school life.
“I’ve been showed around by six kids and they have been brilliant - lots of hugs, lots of letters and pictures they have drawn for me. It’s been really, really special.
“We drove up earlier this morning and it was raining and horrible, but the school has a fantastic set-up and they’ve put a lot of time and energy in.”
The mum-of-one is an ambassador for consumer goods company Procter & Gamble’s ‘Thank You Mum’ campaign.
Their competition encouraged children to think about the support they receive from family, friends, teachers, or anyone else, and to celebrate the people who help us to believe in ourselves.
Trumacar created a display in their hall for the competition to celebrate the campaign.
The school, on Combermere Road, was picked out of thousands of entries across the UK.
“What an inspirational day,” said Paul Slater, headteacher at Trumacar Nursery and Community Primary School.
“She is such a wonderful, positive role model for the children.
“The children were so excited to meet her.
“The way she has come across today is how she behaves on television, very warm and humble, she is just a genuine person.”
Chris Beckett, sports teacher at Trumacar, and Mrs Moore applied for the competition earlier this year and were told of their success in July.
Staff and classes from Reception to Year 6 have been waiting for the visit for a very long time.
“I knew we had a good display but I didn’t think we would win,” said Mr Beckett.
“I thought if we win, we win and when I got the email I was so excited I burst into the governors meeting to tell everyone.
“Jessica is such a positive role model, she has been great with the kids today.”
It was Jessica’s first time visiting Morecambe and the athlete gave a motivational speech to the school assembly before handing out certificates to each class.
Jessica retired shortly after winning silver at this year’s Rio Olympics.
The 30-year-old mum from Sheffield is also a double world champion.
“I am a mum now and can appreciate the sacrifices and challenges and how hard it can be to be a mum,” said Jessica.
“My mum took me to my first athletics club and encouraged me to do athletics, she has just been an absolute role model to me.”
When asked about how she feels about being a role model Jessica said: “When you get involved in sport you do sport because you love it and you want to be the best you can be.
“Then as you become a role model it is something that happens over time.
“It is an incredible feeling because it is a huge responsibility but also a really nice position to be in.
“What I do and what I love doing can hopefully inspire other kids and people around the country to keep active.”
The double gold winning athlete also wanted to give some advice to those who aspire to have a career in sports.
She said: “Try as many sports as you possibly can and just enjoy what you do.
“Don’t feel the pressure of having to perform or trying to set too many targets.
“You have to enjoy what you do, work hard and train hard and hopefully you will go on to achieve great things.”