Trowse youngsters set sail with double Olympic gold medallist Sarah Ayton

Youngsters were filled with awe today (Thursday) when they got the chance to set sail with a double Olympic gold medallist and double world champion.

As part of her visit to Norwich, Sarah Ayton OBE led a coaching session with children from Trowse Primary School at Norfolk County Council's Whitlingham Outdoor Education Centre.

The full time mum, who gave birth to second son Oscar just six weeks ago, is one of Britain's best known sailors, having won gold in the Yngling class in both Athens and Beijing and having twice been crowned world champion.

She is also married to Norwich-born windsurfer Nick Dempsey who has already secured his place on Team GB at this summer's Games.

Today's event saw Sarah first lead an assembly with the whole school where she gave the youngsters the opportunity to see her gold medals.

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She was then joined on the water at Whitlingham Broad by six pupils, aged 10 and 11, who had learnt how to sail as part of the curriculum.

The event helped launch Trowse Primary School's term of Olympic-related activities.

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Sarah, who was in Norwich as part of sailing sponsor Volvo's 100 day Olympic tour, said: 'One of the things that I hope to come out of these Games is to inspire young children and today was a really good opportunity to share some of my Olympic stories with them and to give them some tips from the top.'

Stuart Odell, headteacher at Trowse Primary School, said: 'The children were just in awe. There was an audible noise when she got out her gold medals and started showing them around.

'She has a fantastic rapport with young children and gave clear messages about determination. As a school we feel extremely privileged, it's not everyday you get a double gold medallist knocking at your door and we are very grateful for her time.'

Have you got an Olympics story? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email

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