Olympic medalist Amy Tinkler inspires budding gymnasts in school visit

Budding gymnasts were given a special surprise as an Olympic hero visited to inspire the next generation.

Amy Tinkler, who won a bronze medal at the Olympic Games in 2016, met pupils at West Rainton Primary School.

Amy Tinkler with pupils from West Rainton Primary School.

Amy Tinkler with pupils from West Rainton Primary School.

The 18-year-old answered questions from the children before helping to deliver a gymnastics session, when she gave them some tips and presented the youngsters with a special medal.

She also cut the ribbon on a plaque to mark the opening of the school's recently-formed gymnastics club as she was made an honorary member.

Amy, from Durham, was Team GB's youngest athlete in the Olympics two years ago, and has been selected to represent Team England in the Commonwealth Games in Australia in April.

She is now looking to help the next crop of gymnasts, having been inspired herself by another Olympic medalist, Beth Tweddle, when she was a youngster.

Amy Tinkler presents West Rainton Primary school gymnastic club member Tiffany Ward with her medal.

Amy Tinkler presents West Rainton Primary school gymnastic club member Tiffany Ward with her medal.

Amy said: "I absolutely love meeting the children like this and trying to inspire the next generation.

"When I was six or seven, I had the opportunity to meet Beth Tweddle, and now to be able to give that back and see children enjoying their gymnastics is really nice.

"When I got my medal out to show them, their faces lit up. It was so special."

The coaching session was arranged by Npower, the official partner of Team England at the Commonwealth Games.

Amy Tinkler won a bronze medal at the Olympic Games in 2016.

Amy Tinkler won a bronze medal at the Olympic Games in 2016.

At the age of 16, Amy became the first British athlete to win a medal in the floor event at the Olympics.

West Rainton Primary School headteacher Alison McDonough feels her achievements will inspire the children she met.

She said: "It's incredibly inspiring.

"We've done a lot of work about her recently with knowing she was coming in, but even at the time, we really pounced on the fact she was a County Durham girl.

"She's just like them. She has dreamed big, worked hard and look where it has got her

"It's not every day an Olympian comes to your primary school, so the children have been buzzing since they found out she was coming.

"We've got a lot of gymnasts in the school from our club, so they were particularly excited that she was coming to show them her medal, talk about the Commonwealth Games and gain a bit of support from the children for the upcoming games in Australia.

"It makes it real to the children that if you work hard and want it enough, it is possible.

"It's OK us telling them in the classroom, but she has been there and done it so it's absolutely amazing for the children."