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Olympic Swimmers inspire the next generation of sports stars at Oakgrove Integrated PS

Joe Roebuck and fellow Olympian Amy Smith made a special visit to Oakgrove Integrated Primary School and Nursery

Olympic Swimmers inspire the next generation of sports stars at Oakgrove Integrated PS

Felix, Roxanna, Hannah, Beth, Ethan, Jacob, Kristians, Mrs Donaghey and Mr Holly.

Pupils at Oakgrove Integrated Primary School and Nursey were put through their paces by some special visitors to the school this week.
Olympic swimmers Joe Roebuck and Amy challenged every pupil in the school - from Primary 1 right up to Primary 7 – to take part in a fast-paced, intensive workout as part of the ‘Sports for Schools’ Programme.
Kevin Holly, PE Co-ordinator at Oakgrove IPSN, said the Olympians visit tied in very well with the school’s PE provision: “At Oakgrove IPSN, we look for fun activities that actively engage and motivate our pupils to lead fit and healthy lifestyles and, thanks to the ‘Sports for Schools’ Programme, we were able to host a visit from Joe and Amy.
“They were brilliant motivators, cheering the children on and encouraging everyone to take part and to do their best in a circuit training session set to music.

Joe Roebuck and Amy Smith at Oakgrove IPSN Whole School Assembly.

“At Oakgrove, we provide fitness activities to suit the interests and abilities of all the pupils. This includes the Healthy Kidz programme and the Daily Mile, alongside a wide range of other activities, both during and after school.”
When all 400 pupils were suitably exhausted from their workout, Joe spoke to them at morning assembly. In a motivational talk, he shared his top tips for life as ‘hard work, self-belief, combined with perseverance’.
When he asked Oakgrove pupils for their tips on how they stay motivated, especially when they come up against setbacks, the pupils responded with their own words of wisdom: ‘Keep trying; ‘never give up’; ‘Do your best’; and ‘Be confident in yourself’; all of which embody valuable aspects of a growth mindset embedded in the daily practice at Oakgrove IPSN.
Following assembly, pupils had the opportunity to ask Joe about his training schedule, life as an athlete and what motivated him as a competitive sports person in a Q and A session.
Thanking Joe and Amy for their visit, School Principal, Mrs A Donaghey, said Joe and Amy were friendly and approachable. “They let the children try on their Commonwealth Games medals and even wrote a special note to one of our teacher’s daughter, Kara, who is competing in a swimming gala this weekend, wishing her the best of luck and telling her to ‘swim fast’.
“Both athletes have succeeded in inspiring a new generation of sports stars at Oakgrove IPSN and they will be are welcome back to our school anytime,” she added.
Joe and Amy have enjoyed successful careers as international swimmers and were on the podium at Commonwealth Games, although a highlight for both was competing in the London Olympics in 2012 as part of Team GB - Joe was the only member of the team to qualify for three individual events.

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