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Olympic 2012 Gymnast Inspires Pupils At Theddlethorpe Academy To Stay Active



Year 1 and 2 children meet London 2012 Olympic medal-winning gymnast Sam Oldham as he puts them through their paces at Theddlethorpe Academy.



London 2012 medal-winning Olympic gymnast Sam Oldham brought his unique training experience to bear on a visit to Theddlethorpe Academy. Sam (28) extolled the positive effects of exercise on mind and body as he put the children in every class through their paces during a musical gym workout.

Representing Sports for Schools - a social enterprise that brings the country's top athletes to primary schools to run energetic events that inspire children to be active - Sam explained how his own career began at primary school as an over-active youngster seeking an outlet for his energy.

“Mum did not know what to do with me, so when someone suggested gymnastics club she took the chance. I took to it straight away because they let me run around in circles and I loved it. I was competing by the age of 8,” Sam explained.

The first major success for all-rounder Sam came at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in 2010 where he won Gold on the horizontal bars and Silver on the pommel horse.

Sam then formed part of the team that won Bronze at the London 2012 Olympics, alongside Max Whitlock MBE, Dan Purvis, Kristian Thomas and Louis Smith MBE. He helped to make history in the most memorable GB team final for 100 years.

Sam continued his form a year later when he took Silver on the horizontal bars at the European Championships. Three further European Championship Silver Medals followed in 2014 and 2015, as well as team gold from the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

The Olympic, Commonwealth and European medallist announced his retirement from elite gymnastics just last month after 21 years in the sport.

Sam brought along the Olympic torch he carried through Lincoln in 2012 and his Olympic Bronze medal to show Theddlethorpe pupils as he also gave them a demonstration of his gymnastic skills on the floor with backflips, handstands and the splits.

‘Sport is so good for our bodies,” he told the children, “but it is equally good for our minds. This last two years, especially, have been difficult for young people and so being able to exercise and stay active is so important to keep us healthy. I spent the whole of lockdown doing my gymnastics training in my bedroom.

“For me it is really important that I pass on this message about sport. When I was a child the only adults who came into schools were the police for ‘stranger danger’ talks, and so we just didn’t realise what there was out there for us to do.

“I grew up in a football and cricket household and did not know gymnastics existed until I went for my first lesson. It blew my mind wide open that there were so many different sports out there.

“For me though it is not just about gymnastics, it is about getting active through any sports. That message is something I am very passionate about, so being able to come into schools and share it with the young children is very important to me.”

Pupils in every age group took part in the gymnastics sessions with Sam, moving through a rotational course in the school hall that had everyone’s heart racing. They were all sponsored by family and friends, so far raising more than £550 for charity, with sponsorship money still to come in.

Year 4 pupil Olivia Randle. who is herself a young dancer, said meeting Sam and taking part in the exercise classes was so much fun. Year 6 runners, Elliott Hyatt and Faizer Blurton assisted Sam for the afternoon and by the end of the workout they too were in need of a rest.

“It was really energetic and I just kept going, “ said Elliott. “It was great to meet Sam and he was so good.”

Susan Cook, Principal of Theddlethorpe Academy, said: “This event was well organised, professional, and very entertaining. Each activity was completed quickly and really enjoyed by all the children. When Sam Oldham spoke about his life experiences, it was both educational and inspiring for everyone.”



Year 5 and 6 children work out with Olympic gymnast Sam Oldham.

Olympic gymnast Sam Oldham demonstrates his skills to Theddlethorpe Academy pupils.

Nursery and Reception pupils with Olympic gymnast Sam Oldham.

Year 5 and 6 pupils with Olympic gymnast Sam Oldham before they took part in his exercise class.

 Year 3 and 4 pupils meet Olympic gymnast Sam Oldham before he put them through their paces in the school hall.

Above and below: Foundation Stage 1 and 2 pupils take part in the exercise class led by Olympian Sam Oldham.

Olympic medallist Sam Oldham puts Year 1 and 2 pupils through their paces at Theddlethorpe Academy.

Above and below: Year 3 and 4 pupils take part in the exercise class led by award-winning gymnast Sam Oldham.

Olympian Sam Oldham shows Year 5 and 6 pupils the Olympic torch he carried on the Lincoln leg of the London 2012 Olympics trail before winning a Bronze medal in gymnastics.








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Theddlethorpe Academy Principal

Mrs Susan Cook
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