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Olympic swimmers Joe Roebuck and Amy Smith inspire Northwold pupils to take up sport during visit

Former Olympic swimmers Joe Roebuck and Amy Smith visited pupils at the Norman School in Northwold as part of Sports for Schools. Picture: Ian Burt

Former Olympic swimmers Joe Roebuck and Amy Smith visited pupils at the Norman School in Northwold as part of Sports for Schools. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

Excited shouts, laughter and words of encouragement filled the sports hall of a Norfolk primary as pupils were put through their paces by two Olympians.

Former Olympic swimmers Joe Roebuck and Amy Smith visited pupils at the Norman School in Northwold as part of Sports for Schools. Picture: Ian BurtFormer Olympic swimmers Joe Roebuck and Amy Smith visited pupils at the Norman School in Northwold as part of Sports for Schools. Picture: Ian Burt

The pupils at The Norman in Northwold had a fun-filled day of physical activity led by swimmers and Joe Roebuck and Amy Smith.

The pair, who are both Commonwealth medallists, visited the school as part of Sports for Schools which aims to get the children physically active and inspire them to take part in sport.

With motivational music in the background, the youngsters took part in a fitness circuit which saw them doing star jumps and push ups while watching classmates cheered and clapped.

Pupil Izabelle Anderson, 10, said: “It was very fun and I loved all of it. I liked the star jumps because that was what I was best at.”

Former Olympic swimmers Joe Roebuck and Amy Smith visited pupils at the Norman School in Northwold as part of Sports for Schools. Picture: Ian BurtFormer Olympic swimmers Joe Roebuck and Amy Smith visited pupils at the Norman School in Northwold as part of Sports for Schools. Picture: Ian Burt

On having the athletes visit she said: “It was an honour to have them at our school and we really liked it.”

The youngsters also got a chance to speak to both swimmers to find out more about their sporting careers.

Mr Roebuck, who competed in London 2012, said: “I love it and just seeing the kids get active and getting excited about doing sport and physical activity. They get fit and enjoyment out of what they are doing.

“You see the kids and the little ones sometimes come out and are a bit apprehensive and before you know it they are running around and they really get into it and that is good to see.”

Former Olympic swimmers Joe Roebuck and Amy Smith visited pupils at the Norman School in Northwold as part of Sports for Schools. Picture: Ian BurtFormer Olympic swimmers Joe Roebuck and Amy Smith visited pupils at the Norman School in Northwold as part of Sports for Schools. Picture: Ian Burt

Tracy Smith, special educational needs teaching assistant at the school, said the pupils had very excited for the athlete’s visit after watching videos of them in action.

She added: “We have some really good year five and six athletes and the younger ones are just getting into it now so it is just about inspiring them.

“All the children support one another and you can see they are getting really behind each other.”

Michael Ledzion, director and chief motivator for Sports for Schools, said: “Schools are under huge pressure to put numeracy and literacy first.

Former Olympic swimmers Joe Roebuck and Amy Smith visited pupils at the Norman School in Northwold as part of Sports for Schools. Picture: Ian BurtFormer Olympic swimmers Joe Roebuck and Amy Smith visited pupils at the Norman School in Northwold as part of Sports for Schools. Picture: Ian Burt

“But if you put physical activity before both of them you start getting better results. The fitter you are the better your academic results and that is one of our messages.

“Physical activity builds the brain for the teachers to fill.”

He added: “It does not matter what the exercise of the sport, it is about loving physical activity. Kids enjoy exercise.

“The athletes want to inspire the next generation into any sport. Joe and Amy love it and they are so excited. All the athletes enjoying visiting the primary schools.”

Former Olympic swimmers Joe Roebuck and Amy Smith visited pupils at the Norman School in Northwold as part of Sports for Schools. Picture: Ian BurtFormer Olympic swimmers Joe Roebuck and Amy Smith visited pupils at the Norman School in Northwold as part of Sports for Schools. Picture: Ian Burt

The EDP and Evening News has teamed up with Sports for Schools to offer vouchers to help give a sporting boost to youngsters across Norfolk.

Tokens will be printed in the newspapers every week until April 14 and children, staff and parents are encouraged to collect them and hand them into local schools.

The three schools with the most tokens – calculated on a pro rata basis based on pupil numbers – will receive prizes of £5,000, £3,000 or £2,000, while schools which collect 1,000 tokens will receive a free sports pack.

Email sportsforschools@archant.co.uk for more information.

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