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Olympic medallist inspires future gymnasts

Pilgrim Academy were visited by an Olympic medal winner this week.

Sam Oldham was a part of the bronze medal winning team in the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The pupils got involved in workshops with Sam where he showed them new skills and different techniques for exercises and stretching that are particularly important to a gymnast.

Sam showed the pupils how to properly execute a cartwheel, the vault landing and a forward roll. Each pupil had a go at everything and some discovered new skills that they didn’t know they had.

Some of the Year 6 pupils, who will leave the Academy for secondary school today, spoke to Sam about what they needed to do to achieve their goals. He discussed their strengths and helped them understand how they can use them in later life.

At the end of the day, Sam gave an assembly to the whole school to tell his story about how he became a gymnast and the hard work and dedication that went into his training.

He spoke to the children about his dreams at school and how he worked hard to achieve his bronze medal at the Summer Olympics in 2012.

He told the children how he’d get up at 6:00am every morning before school and go to gymnastics for two hours. He would then go back to the gym after school for a further five hours. The children were shocked and inspired to hear how dedicated he was at just 9-years-old.

Sam brought along his bronze medal to show the children. He also took part in the Olympic torch relay leading up to the Olympic Games and the honour he felt to be a part of it.

Sam’s assembly ended with a demonstration of his skills and showed the pupils a video of his high bar routine from 2021.

The children were in awe of Sam’s skills and they were extremely excited to watch his high bar routine.

PE Teacher, Mrs Thompson said: “The children had great fun with Sam whilst learning new skills from him. They were really engaged with his workshop and some of them found that they could do new things. The whole school was particularly impressed by Sam’s demonstrated gymnast skills and they were even more mesmerised by the Olympic torch and medal. I’d like to thank Sam for taking the time to visit us and create such a packed and fun day for the pupils.”