Ormsgill Pupils inspired by medal-winning athlete

Pupils from Ormsgill School were put through their paces by a top alpine skier and raised nearly £1,000 towards sports equipment for school.

The children – from reception to Year 6 – enjoyed a fitness circuits session with Isla Ward who is a national junior champion.

Isla, who is from Glasgow, gave an inspirational talk about her sporting achievements and posed for photos with pupils in the initiative called Sports for Champions.

The children also got to quiz her with questions including how cold it was, if she gets tired, who inspires her and if she can speak other languages.

She explained that she gets up at 3am to get the perfect icy conditions she needs but goes to bed very early, it’s sometimes minus 20 when she skies and she gets to travel the world with her skiing and speaks some French. She said other skiers and her little sister inspire her with their dedication.

They then challenged her by asking to see her unicycling and juggling at the same time, which she says helps her balance and calms pre-race nerves.

Isla said it was her first visit to Barrow and had really enjoyed meeting the pupils at Ormsgill School, which is part of South Cumbria Multi-Academy Trust.

“Most children do a sport and I want to show them that if you enjoy it and keep pushing anything is possible. This applies to any sport but it would be lovely if I could inspire one to give skiing a go,” she said.

“Athletes need to work hard and be dedicated and these skills are needed in every area of life. I want them to see the journey I have been on and to encourage their enjoyment of sport.”

Isla brought her medals, including the English Alpine Champion medal she secured in Italy and a medal from the New Zealand National Championships.

Ormsgill School’s PE lead Chloe Taylor, who organised the event, said the children had raised a fantastic amount of money for the school.

“They have been so enthusiastic about the visit and I will be meeting with the sport leaders in Year 5 and Year 6 who will conduct a survey of what new equipment they want.

“Pupils should be doing at least 30 minutes of activity a day outside PE so they are thinking of getting some new items to use in our playground.”

Pupils raised more than £2,000 in sponsorship for the event with a percentage of the money going towards new equipment for the school and the rest to support athletes with training and competition costs.

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