Olympic gold medallist Sally Gunnell inspires pupils to stay healthy

Sally Gunnel visiting Pakefield Primary School. Photo: Premier Education Group

Sally Gunnel visiting Pakefield Primary School. Photo: Premier Education Group - Credit: Premier Education Group

Olympic hero Sally Gunnell OBE has been inspiring pupils about the benefits of keeping healthy.

Sally Gunnel visiting Pakefield Primary School. Photo: Premier Education Group

Sally Gunnel visiting Pakefield Primary School. Photo: Premier Education Group - Credit: Premier Education Group

The former track and field athlete delivered a whole school assembly at Pakefield Primary School and visited classrooms to answer questions about her sporting career, show pupils her Olympic gold medal and sign autographs.

The school has recently started running health and wellbeing sessions, and has now become the flagship school for Premier Transition, which leads the initiative.

Sally Gunnel visiting Pakefield Primary School. Photo: Premier Education Group

Sally Gunnel visiting Pakefield Primary School. Photo: Premier Education Group - Credit: Premier Education Group

Pakefield has taken on all three transition programmes - Play-Trition for early years, Fun-Trition for Key Stage 1 and 2, and Fit-Trition for teachers and parents - to ensure a 'whole school approach'.

And with Pakefield setting a shining example to schools nationally on how to live a healthy and active lifestyle, representatives from Premier joined the visit on Friday, July 7, to record the school's activities.

Sally Gunnel visiting Pakefield Primary School. Photo: Premier Education Group

Sally Gunnel visiting Pakefield Primary School. Photo: Premier Education Group - Credit: Premier Education Group

Gunnell, who is a mother of three, stresses the importance of supporting families to become more active.

She said: 'Parents lead very busy lives, but we are facing a child obesity epidemic, so it's vital that we do all we can to give our kids the best start in life. A positive approach to healthy living starts in the home, but there's plenty the wider community, including schools, can do to support parents and ensure a joined-up approach to family wellbeing.'

Sally Gunnel visiting Pakefield Primary School. Photo: Premier Education Group

Sally Gunnel visiting Pakefield Primary School. Photo: Premier Education Group - Credit: Premier Education Group

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The scheme - thought to be the first of its kind anywhere in the UK - gives parents the chance to attend fitness classes at school as they pick up or drop their children off.

PE lead at Pakefield, Michael Fleckney, says the programme has been welcomed by both children and parents.

Sally Gunnel visiting Pakefield Primary School. Photo: Premier Education Group

Sally Gunnel visiting Pakefield Primary School. Photo: Premier Education Group - Credit: Premier Education Group

'Leading a healthy lifestyle is so important for everyone, so it's vital that we are educating children on both how they can do this and why they should be doing it,' he said.

'The programme is doing just that and I think the practical elements – the little things that children can take home with them and implement immediately – are so valuable. All the pupils have really embraced the sessions and we've had some excellent feedback from parents, so absolutely plan to continue, and hopefully expand, the programme next year.'

Sally Gunnel visiting Pakefield Primary School. Photo: Premier Education Group

Sally Gunnel visiting Pakefield Primary School. Photo: Premier Education Group - Credit: Premier Education Group

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