Sports champion inspires children in Lowestoft

A BMX champion has been telling school children how he used life lessons to achieve sporting success.

Mike Mullen, former BMX World Masterclass Champion, spent a day with pupils from Kirkley Middle School in Lowestoft, speaking about his experiences, from the highs of achieving two world champion titles and to lows of crashes and injury.

Mr Mullen visited the school on Monday in his role as an athlete mentor for Sky Sports Living for Sport, an initiative that encourages 11 to 16 year olds to aim high.

As well as talking to students about his life, he gave a motivational presentation, a demonstration of his biking skills and ran mini BMX workshops.

He also sat down with the pupils and helped them set their own life goals.

'I know first-hand how much of a positive effect sport can have across all areas of an individual's life – on both a personal level as well as a professional one.

'I hope that, by sharing my life story and the influences sport has had on me as a person, I can help these pupils see how lessons learnt from taking part, such as building the confidence to lead or developing the social skills required to become an effective team player, can help them fulfil their full potential.'

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Now in its eighth year, Sky Sports Living for Sport has been hailed a success with 96pc of projects judged by teachers as either successful or very successful.

It is a free initiative delivered in partnership with Youth Sport Trust and is designed to encourage teenagers to develop life skills they learn through participating in sport, such as confidence, respect, and a sense of achievement, helping them to believe in themselves and their ability to achieve their goals.

Kirkley Middle PE teacher Mike Marrison said: 'Mike's visit provided the pupils with a real life example of how, whatever their ambitions in life, lessons learned through sport can help them realise their dreams and reach their full potential.'

The 23 sportsmen and women who work as athlete mentors for the program have been handpicked by Youth Sport Trust because of their inspiring personal journeys.

To date, 45,000 young people in over 1,500 schools have taken part and more than 400 schools have signed up for the new school year.

The ambition of the project is for 2,000 schools and 30,000 young people to register with Sky Sports Living for Sport by 2012 and for some of the activities it introduces to be part of school's curricular and extracurricular programmes.

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