Sprint star inspires youngsters

Commonwealth Gold medal winning 200m runner Leon Baptiste at Stowmarket High School.
Commonwealth Gold medal winning 200m runner Leon Baptiste at Stowmarket High School.
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Double commonwealth gold medal sprinter Leon Baptiste visited Stowmarket High School on Monday.

He spoke to students about what it takes to become a top sportsperson and coached an indoor practical class.

Commonwealth Gold medal winning 200m runner Leon Baptiste at Stowmarket High School.

Commonwealth Gold medal winning 200m runner Leon Baptiste at Stowmarket High School.

The visit was organised by the Gipping Valley and Thurston Sports partnership as part of Sky Sports ‘Living for Sport’ programme, an initiative that uses sports stars and sports skills to boost confidence, change behaviours, increase attainment and improve life skills of students.

William Hopkin-Jones from the partnership said: “Leon talked to the children about what it takes to be an athlete and that it is not all plain sailing.

“Pupils could see it is tough work and that you’ve just got to pick yourself up and keep on trying.

“It was amazing seeing Leon having the full attention of our year 11s.

Commonwealth Gold medal winning 200m runner Leon Baptiste at Stowmarket High School.

Commonwealth Gold medal winning 200m runner Leon Baptiste at Stowmarket High School.

“Leon was happy to chat to anyone and let them to hold his medals - they really enjoyed it.”

PE teacher Tom West said: “This truly was an outstanding opportunity for our gifted and talented students.

“Leon gave them great insight into the qualities required to achieve success at the highest level.

“Hopefully, they will take on board what they have learnt and use it to push themselves further in their individual sports.”