Dame Kelly comes to Ipswich
DOUBLE Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes today told Ipswich youngsters that it is the taking part which counts.Dame Kelly, the government-backed national school sport champion, had a scheduled visit at Ipswich's Westbourne high school and sports college.
DOUBLE Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes today told Ipswich youngsters that it is the taking part which counts.
Dame Kelly, the government-backed national school sport champion, had a scheduled visit at Ipswich's Westbourne high school and sports college.
She was due at the Marlow Road school for a question and answer session, and to take part and watch judo, fencing, basketball, kiting, netball and trampolining sessions.
Dame Kelly said: “We want children to realise that taking part in sport is about getting the best out of themselves.
“I achieved at a high level but it's not about that. What children can get out of playing or participating in sports ranges from fitness and health benefits to social skills and improving confidence and self-esteem and learning new skills.
“There should be more competitions for youngsters who want it but for children who don't and who don't want to do team sports, there needs to be a wider range of activities on offer.”
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Prime minister Gordon Brown announced details of a £100m campaign on Friday to give every child the chance of doing five hours of sport every week.
Dame Kelly's visit to Ipswich, part of a tour of six schools in East Anglia, is designed to inspire, challenge and motivate pupils and teachers about sport in schools.
Dame Kelly started running when she was 12-years-old after encouragement from a school teacher and went on to win gold medals in the 800m and 1,500m at the 2004 Olympic Games.
The 37-year-old said: “There's a responsibility with teachers now to think outside of the box. Some tend to teach things which are the norm but they have to give a wider range of activities to choice if more youngsters are to participate in sport.
“It's an exciting time to live in Ipswich, being just an hour's train ride away from London, ahead of the 2012 Olympics. Even those who don't like watching sport will get enthusiastic about the chance of seeing the elite.”
Westbourne headteacher Chris Edwards said: “We are really excited about welcoming Dame Kelly to see the ways in which we are promoting sport, not just in this school but in our partner schools.”
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