Ilford schoolchildren met star Paralympian Sarah Storey at a health event yesterday.

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The pupils from Ilford School, in High Road, were at the launch of a new physiotherapy department of The London Independent Hospital in Stepney Green.

Mrs Storey won several gold medals in swimming events in her first Paralympics in 1992 when she was aged just 14, and enjoyed more success after switching to cycling, including four gold medals in this year’s Games.

She spoke to 29 pupils from the school about the importance of exercise and achieving their goals.

Mrs Storey said: “It is important we do nurture the future sporting talent to compete on the national stage but sport and fitness is also vitally important in promoting a healthy lifestyle.

“Hopefully every one of you will have been inspired by the events right on your doorstep.”

A doctor from the hospital, Dr Nick Webborn, was the chief medical officer for the GB Paralmypics Team.

Barbara Wiggs, headteacher of Ilford School, said the children were thrilled to meet Mrs Storey.

She added: “It was a great pleasure for the children to be invited.

“We all watched the Olympics and Paralympics and the pupils asked her questions about how she achieved her dreams and what she will go on to next.”

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