Double Olympian helps out students

Olympian and double Commonwealth gold medallist Craig Heap with students at Bede Academy in Blyth.
Olympian and double Commonwealth gold medallist Craig Heap with students at Bede Academy in Blyth.
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The sporting ability of students has been stretched by a former Olympic and Commonwealth gymnast.

Double gold medallist Craig Heap, who is also a judge on BBC One programme Tumble, put students at Bede Academy in Blyth, through their paces in the classroom and the sports hall.

Craig, who captained England to team gold at the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur in 1998 and Manchester in 2002 and also competed in the Sydney Olympics in 2000, is now an athlete mentor in the Sky Sports Living for Sport programme and many other initiatives aimed at motivating young people through sport.

“It’s all about building the students’ confidence by making changes based on the ‘six keys to success’,” he said.

“I used them to get to the Olympics and I still use them in my day to day life, to be successful in my own business and if I’m commentating on gymnastics for BBC Sport or appearing on television in Tumble on a Saturday night.”

Fifteen students at Bede, who are either studying BTEC Sport or are in the academy’s fitness initiative, heard Craig’s story and about the six keys to success before taking part in activities, drawing on what they had learned.

Student Lewis Faircloth, 12, of Blyth, said: “It’s been fun. I can use the skills Craig taught us in my PE lessons.”

Laila Rogerson, 13, of Blyth, added: “Craig was really funny and I’ve learned some new people skills.”

The visit took place during the academy’s Healthy Living Week, when students, staff and parents are encouraged to get active.