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Olympic gold medallist Joanna Rowsell Shand opens daily mile track at Telford school

Telford | Education | Published:

Children in Telford have been inspired to keep fit thanks to a new running track and a visit by Olympic gold medallist Joanna Rowsell Shand.

Pupils at Lawley Primary School with Joanna Rowsell Shand

Lawley Primary School had a grand opening for its new daily mile track, and cyclist Joanna was on hand to lead proceedings.

She also presented two assemblies to Key Stage 1 and 2, sharing her story about her start in cycling at the age of 16, through to her retirement.

She told the children the importance of a healthy balanced diet, how hard she worked in training and the process of the Olympic team selection and her amazing success.

Pupils at Lawley Primary School with Joanna Rowsell Shand

Joanna then officially opened the school's daily mile all-weather track before running a lap with some of the children as the rest of the school cheered them around.

Bridgitte Jones, PE coordinator at the school, said: "The children were really engaged. The whole school was buzzing all day.

"She did a Powerpoint presentation about how she got selected, the highs and lows of her training and missing out on one of her competitions because she'd broken her wrists and nose.

"In the end she took questions, and all the questions were really good. The children were so interested."

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The new track will be used every day by every class in the school.

Pupils at Lawley Primary School with Joanna Rowsell Shand

Children will perform a daily mile – about 15 minutes of running.

Ms Jones said: "It's something we're really passionate about. It's giving the children extra exercise and it's great for their well-being.

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"For us we take them out for a run, and they're completely focussed again.

"What we've found is they're really competitive as well. They're trying to beat how many laps they can do, and they're amazed at the progress."

The track was funded through a £4,000 grant from Telford & Wrekin Council and by the school itself.

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