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Thursday, 27 November 2014

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GB Olympics gymnast passes on tips to Carlisle youngsters

An Olympic gymnast has been to Carlisle to inspire a group of secondary school pupils.

Craig Heap photo
Craig Heap

Burnley-born Craig Heap held a 50-minute gym session yesterday with 11 year eight pupils at Richard Rose Morton Academy on Wigton Road.

The 12 and 13-year-olds have been hand-picked to take part in a three-month Living 4 Sport initiative the school runs with the children’s charity Barnardo’s.

The scheme aims to improve their self confidence, boost their interest and achievement in school and encourage the youngsters to lead a healthier lifestyle.

Craig, 38, was in the city as an athlete mentor on behalf of Sky Sports Living 4 Sport’s national ambassador scheme.

As well as warm-ups, Craig also got the pupils working together as a team on crash mats carrying out short acrobatic exercises.

The visit was organised by Andrea Fox, a Barnardo’s family support worker, and the Youth Sport Trust.

Craig said: “The scheme is about engaging young people through the power of sport.

“We run short sessions like this and talk to them about our own journeys so it is something they can relate to.

“You can see this has given them a huge buzz. It’s not all about winning medals, it is about how sport can help young people come alive.”

Watch Craig Heap competing. Article continues below...

Since the pupils started getting together for the three-month programme back in December they have enjoyed team building exercises such as completing an obstacle course, visiting army cadets, horse riding and karting.

Next week they will be going to Caldew Lea Primary School to teach a new skill to youngsters there.

They will also enjoy indoor rock climbing at the Carlisle Youth Zone before the scheme ends in March. They will also receive free membership to the youth zone for a year.

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