A LEADING British athlete had pupils jumping for joy after he was unveiled as their new sports mentor.
English senior long jump champion JJ Jegede has taken up the role at Sunderland’s Monkwearmouth School.
The star spent the day working with pupils, telling them of his own journey in overcoming life’s challenges in order to excel in his sport.
JJ was appointed to the Torver Crescent school as their sports mentor to inspire and motivate the students as part of Sky Sports Living for Sport, a free secondary schools initiative delivered in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust. The aim is to use sportsmen and women to boost confidence, change behaviour, increase attainment and improve the life skills of children.
The scheme is being rolled out in the run-up to London 2012.
Caroline Forster, head of PE at Monkwearmouth, is backing the initiative and said the children were excited and thrilled about having a top athlete visiting them.
She said the visit from JJ had given the pupils a huge boost.
Ms Forster said: “He is absolutely excellent. He measured out a distance to show how far he could jump and it was a huge wow factor with the kids.”
Monkwearmouth pupils had the chance to share with JJ the activities they have been involved with as part of the scheme.
JJ said: “I’m honoured to be part of Sky Sports Living for Sport and to have the chance to meet pupils in schools such as Monkwearmouth.
“The young people I meet and the teachers that support them are truly inspirational. I hope that by sharing my story and discussing the positive role that sport has played in my own life that I can inspire young people to improve their lives through sport.
“Different sports inspire different people but there’s a sport for everyone and it can change your life.”
This year 750 schools across the UK will benefit from a visit from a Sky Sports Living for Sport athlete mentor.