Olympian gives youth athletes a jump start

GOOD SPORT ... long jump star Chris Tomlinson inspired youngsters at St Wilfrid's RC College by leading a sporting lesson.
GOOD SPORT ... long jump star Chris Tomlinson inspired youngsters at St Wilfrid's RC College by leading a sporting lesson.

SPORTY South Tyneside school pupils were jumping for joy after winning a visit from a medal-winning athletics star.

Long jumper Chris Tomlinson – who has represented Britain at three Olympics and is a former world indoor silver medallist – put pupils at St Wilfrid’s RC College through their paces during a sporting session.

The 33-year-old, who also scooped a bronze medal in the European Championships in Barcelona in 2010 and has a personal best jump of 8.35m, shared his success story with the next generation before demonstrating the jumping skills that have won him global acclaim.

The Middlesbrough-born athlete popped into the college, based in Temple Park Road, South Shields, as part of a six-week Sportivate course which has been organised in partnership with Tyne and Wear Sport.

Year 7 and 8 pupils have been receiving sports coaching after school every Friday - and a special appearance from a world-class competitor proved what can be achieved through hard work and dedication.

Helen Nuttall, who is the Gifted and Talented Co-ordinator at the college, said: “The children really enjoyed it. It was a very engaging session, and it was fantastic for the children to meet a world silver medallist.

“Chris led the session, he was really nice and down-to-earth.

“He got a tape measure out and marked the distance of his longest jump. We couldn’t believe he had gone that distance.

“It was great for him to come down and it was very inspiring for the children.

“The Sportivate sessions have been held after school every Friday and it was brilliant that Chris came along.

“He demonstrated how he does a long jump and took part in the relay running.

“We say at the college that getting better never stops and Chris’ visit helped with that message.”

Chris Tomlinson added: “I believe that as a Sport England Sporting Champion, I can inspire people to raise their aspirations of what they can achieve and motivate them to be the very best versions of themselves that they can be.”

David Marrin, assistant director at Tyne & Wear Sport, said: “We have been able to offer hundreds of opportunities for people to get involved in sport by working with clubs, national governing bodies of sport, local authorities and schools, colleges and universities, as well as other local partners.”