Olympic long-jumper Chris Tomlinson landed in Yorkshire last week to celebrate the giant leaps 40 pupils from across the county have made in their writing, thanks to an innovative literacy programme.
The Literacy Through Sport project is a joint initiative between global online literacy platform Pobble.com, which motivates and inspires pupils in their writing by allowing them to become published authors, and Sporting Influence, which uses sport to promote positive behaviours.
Pobble teacher Jonny Davies said: “We were thrilled that Chris came down to present the awards to the kids, who have made fantastic progress. To spend time with a top-level athlete like Chris was the perfect conclusion for them after all of their hard work.”
The ten-week programme saw 40 children aged eight to eleven from four local schools – Richard Taylor Primary School, Willow Tree Primary School, Hookstone Chase Primary School, and Oatlands Junior School – participate in weekly sessions at Harrogate High School, split between physical exercise and writing.
Tomlinson, who has competed for Great Britain at each of the last three Olympic Games, said: “It is an absolute pleasure to be involved with such a wonderful programme as Literacy through Sport.
“Pobble and Sporting Influence have created something very special which visibly motivates youngsters, and clearly improves their writing and social skills.”
Tomlinson, from Middlesbrough, is a long-time supporter of Literacy Through Sport, and presented achievement awards to the pupils, as well as participating in a question and answer session, and running a long-jump workshop.
Ann Wheatcroft, Headteacher at Hookstone Chase Primary School, said: “New friendships have been formed, their confidence has grown over the weeks and they are working brilliantly together. A lot of what they have learned from the Literacy lessons will be of great use to them in school.”