Thursday, 11 August 2022

Video: Olympian trains promising pupils

NINE students at Highdown School in Emmer Green enjoyed a training session with Olympic athlete Abi Oyepitan.

NINE students at Highdown School in Emmer Green enjoyed a training session with Olympic athlete Abi Oyepitan, writes James Burton.

Click here to watch our video of the training session.

The Team GB sprinter, who reached the semi-finals of the 200m in London last year, spent almost two hours with the pupils on Monday afternoon.

Oyepitan taught them some exercises called dynamic warm-ups, which professional runners use before they race.

She also analysed their running techniques and showed them how to move their arms to keep their bodies balanced.

The year 7 to 10 pupils are on an after-school sports course run by Reading Athletics Club after being chosen by their teachers for showing promise as athletes.

Oyepitan?s visit was arranged by Sport England, which sends sports stars into schools under its Sportivate programme.The 33-year-old also gave a talk on motivation and healthy eating to Highdown?s A-level PE students. She said: ?Kids need an idea of what they can aspire to and I was just like any other child at their age. I wasn?t necessarily the best athlete when I was at school but it was something I enjoyed and I kept doing it.

?Competing in the Olympics isn?t always something you can see yourself doing. However, if you meet someone who has, then you realise it?s achievable. It?s just like anything, not just in sport ? it?s about working hard and overcoming challenges on the way. You have to persevere and try to be the best you can be.?

Oyepitan, who won a gold medal in the 4 x 100m relay at the 2010 Commonweath Games in Delhi, was joined at the training session by former pupil Michael Dyer, who is now a decathlete for Reading AC.

He showed the students how to throw a javelin and taught them about interval training in which athletes run in short, intense bursts to raise their fitness.

Mr Dyer, who attended Highdown from 1996 and 2001, said: ?Events like this get young people involved in sport a lot earlier in life ? the younger you can start learning, the easier it is.?

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