Pupils dive in with questions

Olympic swimmer Chris Cook talking to students about his swimming experiences.
Olympic swimmer Chris Cook talking to students about his swimming experiences.
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DOUBLE Commonwealth swimming champion Chris Cook made a splash with pupils excited about the 2012 Olympics.

The 32-year-old visited The Academy at Shotton Hall, Peterlee, to give an insight into his career as a swimmer.

Chris was also keen to talk about the Olympic torch’s visit to the North East in the months preceding the London Games.

The swimmer also promoted the Sky Sports “Living for Sport” programme which aims to use sports stars to boost confidence, increase attainment and improve life skills for youngsters.

The former Olympic swimmer who achieved a gold medal in the Commonwealth Games in 2008 worked with students from Year Eight and Year Nine who have been selected to take part in a Young Leaders Award.

The programme of leadership training for young people aged between nine and 13 teaches leadership skills through a range of games and activities.

Chris said: “I always relish the opportunity to come to schools and speak to young people about their goals and dreams. I want to get the message out there that if I can do it so can they.”

Chris delivered a motivational presentation to more than 60 students from the school.

“I tried to get across that anyone can follow their dream, whether that be in sport, music or anything. I use my story to help get across no matter where anybody is from they can achieve anything if they work for it.”

While visiting the school, Chris met national swimmer Bradley Dobson, from Year Seven, and regional swimmers Beth Nicholson, of Year Seven, and Leigh Patterson, of Year 10.

Bradley said : “It was very inspirational to meet Chris. I aspire to be just like him.”

The programme will run from December to January, culminating in a sports festival when Chris will return to the school the present the awards.