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Olympic gold medallist helps teachers kick off the new school year

PUBLISHED: 10:01 06 September 2018 | UPDATED: 10:01 06 September 2018

Inspiration Trust staff 'Welcome Back' day at St Andrews Hall in Norwich, on Tuesday, September 4, 2018.
Olympic gold medallist rower Anna Watkins talks to staff from Inspiration Trust schools. Picture: Andi Sapey

Inspiration Trust staff 'Welcome Back' day at St Andrews Hall in Norwich, on Tuesday, September 4, 2018. Olympic gold medallist rower Anna Watkins talks to staff from Inspiration Trust schools. Picture: Andi Sapey

Andi Sapey

Teachers from across Norfolk and Suffolk have got the new school year off to a golden start with an impromptu rowing lesson from an Olympic medallist.

Inspiration Trust staff 'Welcome Back' day at St Andrews Hall in Norwich, on Tuesday, September 4, 2018.
Staff from Inspiration Trust schools in Norfolk and Suffolk. Picture; Andi SapeyInspiration Trust staff 'Welcome Back' day at St Andrews Hall in Norwich, on Tuesday, September 4, 2018. Staff from Inspiration Trust schools in Norfolk and Suffolk. Picture; Andi Sapey

Anna Watkins, who won gold in the double skulls at the London 2012 Olympics, gave the lesson to 800 teaching and support staff from the Inspiration Trust at an event in Norwich.

The Olympian told staff about her journey from state school student to Cambridge maths graduate, and how her university experiences uncovered a hidden talent for rowing.

She told how she nearly missed out on medals at both Beijing and London Olympics through illness, but battled through to reach the podium.

Staff also heard from Dame Rachel de Souza, the trust’s chief executive, about the group’s achievements over the last year and its plans for the future.

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