Pupils at St Colmcilles Primary School had an extra special guest at their sports day on Tuesday (16 June) as Double Paralympic Gold Medallist Jason Smyth was on hand to give out medals, cheer the pupils on and even take part in some of the activities.
Jason’s visit was to congratulate the school on their winning Activ8 class room display they had submitted as part of the Sport Northern Ireland Activ8 campaign.
Activ8 is a new initiative from Sport Northern Ireland promoting 8 steps for children to get active and stay healthy and has been awarded the London 2012 Inspire Mark.
Primary 6 and 7 pupils at St Colmcilles participated in an Activ8 week in school with each class participating in 30 minutes of physical activity each day in school. P7 pupils then used this event as a springboard for a larger project on the science of sport where the pupils studied muscles, healthy living, effects of exercise on the body and forces in sport. During his visit to the school Jason had the opportunity to see the class room display as well as watching the pupils in action during their sports day.
Speaking about his visit to St Colmcilles, Jason said, “It was great fun to come to St Colmcilles Primary School sports day and to find out about their involvement in Sport Northern Ireland’s Activ8 programme. Activ8 is a great way for children to learn about the benefits of taking part in exercise and living a healthy lifestyle. I was extremely interested in the P7’s project on sports science as sports science is an integral part of my training and has assisted me greatly in competing thanks to the support of the sports scientists at the Sports Institute Northern Ireland. The pupils at St Colmcilles put a lot of effort into their project and made me extremely welcome, it was a pleasure to be a part of their sports day.”
Vice Principal and Primary 6 and 7 teacher, Terry Rodgers spoke of the children’s delight at meeting Jason, “The primary 6 and 7 pupils put in a huge amount of effort into the Activ8 project and in completing the Activ8 challenge. It was great to have Jason with us at our school sports day and I am sure the children will remember his visit for a long time to come.”