South African hockey star Mariette Rix was the guest of honour as part of Bury St Edmunds Academy Trust ‘s Action days programme.
Rix hosted a coaching session before answering questions in a specially arranged question and answer session.
“I started playing hockey at school so it’s fantastic to be able to return to the playground to meet the kids and speak to them about their sporting ambitions,” she explained.
“The Olympic Games was always a massive inspiration to me growing up and if I can help inspire the next generation and recruit some new fans of hockey in the process then that would be great.”
Speaking of the day, Nathan Marshall, a PE teacher at County Upper School and organiser of the day, reflected on its success.
“The Academy Trust Action Day was a brilliant opportunity for our students to play hockey and meet an athlete,” he added. “The day involved over 200 students from all four of the Trust’s schools, County Upper, Horringer Court Middle, Westley Middle and Barrow Primary.
“On the day, students were coached by County Upper Year 10 Sports’ Leaders, competed in a tournament, and had question and answer session with Mariette.
“She spoke to the all the students at the festival, signed certificates and met the equipment team. We felt proud and privileged to receive a visit from an SA athlete as the BBC East School of the Year for Sport.
“It was a fantastic day which is helping continue with our efforts of providing a lasting legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”