Invictus Games gold medal winner and RAF veteran inspires Sunderland pupils on school visit

Invictus Games gold medal winner Stuart Robinson.
Invictus Games gold medal winner Stuart Robinson.

Youngsters at a Sunderland school were inspired to reach for the top - thanks to a visit from an Invicitus Games athlete.

RAF veteran Stuart Robinson, who clinched a gold medal as part of Team GB at the Invictus Games for injured service personnel, went along to St Patrick’s RC Primary School to run a sporting event with students.

Students at St Patrick's RC Primary listen intently to Stuart Robinson.

Students at St Patrick's RC Primary listen intently to Stuart Robinson.

As part of the Sports for Schools initiative, Stuart, who is a GB Wheelchair Rugby player after having his legs amputated, went along to the Smith Street school, to give a talk to the students and run some training sessions.

While there, Stuart, officially opened the school’s newly revamped outdoor area.

Caroline Fairrington, business manager at St Patrick’s, said the visit by Stuart was amazing and something which inspired both children and staff alike.

She said: “It was an absolutely awesome morning, it was totally amazing.

It was an absolutely awesome morning, it was totally amazing

Caroline Fairrington

“The children were just in awe of Stuart, there was nothing holding him back. It was a totally humbling experience.

“It showed the children that you just have to do your best in everything you do and if that you should try for whatever you want to achieve.”

Stuart, a former RAF corporal, was on a routine patrol near Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, in 2013 when his vehicle was hit by a Taliban bomb.

He sustained horrific injuries and was lucky to survive but had both legs amputated.

Invictus Games gold medal winner Stuart Robinson even puts the staff at St Patrick's RC Primary School through their paces.

Invictus Games gold medal winner Stuart Robinson even puts the staff at St Patrick's RC Primary School through their paces.

The ex-serviceman said a key factor in rebuilding his health was a love of sport and now he uses his story and passion for wheelchair rugby to inspire others to stay active and strive to be the best they can.

He said: “After two months in a hospital bed I piled weight on and was pretty low, I needed motivation.
“I used to love sports so being able to do wheelchair rugby got me active and fit, it gave back some of the camaraderie of the forces and an aim.”

Stuart, 33, said: “Never tell anyone that they can’t, they will prove you wrong.”

During his visit to the school Stuart held a sponsored circuit training with the children and the money raised is shared between the school and the Sports for Schools project to ensure more young people can benefit from visits by inspiring people like Stuart.

The opening of the St Patrick's RC Primary School's new outdoor play area.

The opening of the St Patrick's RC Primary School's new outdoor play area.

Students enjoy the new play area.

Students enjoy the new play area.

Youngsters can keep fit in their new play area at St Patrick's RC Primary School.

Youngsters can keep fit in their new play area at St Patrick's RC Primary School.