Paralympian Josef Craig celebrates golden day at Sunderland school

Swimming sensations Matt Wylie and Josef Craig made a splash when they visited youngsters at a primary school.

Monday, 21st November 2016, 11:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 22nd November 2016, 11:06 am
Paralympians Matt Wylie and Josef Craig, left, visit St Leonard's RC Primary School.

Both Paralympic gold medallists, the pair thrilled children at St Leonard’s RC Primary School in Sunderland.

Josef, 19, from Hebburn, who has already gained an MBE, won gold at the London games in 2012 in the 400m freestyle and then took a bronze at Rio in the 100m freestyle.

And, Sunderland’s Matt, 20, swam to his gold at Rio in the 50m freestyle.

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Both of the men have battled cerebral palsy to achieve their goals and have a host of competition wins between them.

The pair, along with their coach, Danny Thompson, went along to St Leonard’s to give staff and students the inside story about becoming paralympic champions and life at the Olympic Village.

Bernie Doherty, head-teacher at the Tunstall Village Road school, said it proved to be a fantastic morning and everyone was inspired by the swimmers.

She said: “It was an absolutely amazing morning, they are two of the loveliest 
lads, so inspirational and brilliant ambassadors for their sport.

“It really put into perspective just how much hard work goes into their training. They are so dedicated and committed to what they do.”

Ms Doherty said the pair brought along their medals and even passed them around for the children to hold, which was a massive thrill for the youngsters.

The headteacher said children were all inspired by the paralympians to realise that you can overcome obstacles in life if you are determined and work hard towards your goals.

She added: “The children were sitting in the hall for a good hour and a half and we didn’t hear a peep out of them.

“There was no whispering or shuffling, they were just so wrapped up with what the lads were telling them.”