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Colin Jackson inspires Norwich children

PUBLISHED: 12:00 15 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:18 01 July 2010

Colin Jackson.

Colin Jackson.

Sam Emanuel

He might have set a world record, won an Olympic medal and worked alongside world champions, but former athlete Colin Jackson was still happy to give tips to schoolchildren in Norwich - and back our City of Culture bid.

He might have set a world record, won an Olympic medal and worked alongside world champions, but former athlete Colin Jackson was still happy to give tips to schoolchildren in Norwich - and back our City of Culture bid.

The former sprint and hurdling athlete went to Sprowston Recreation Ground yesterday to inspire Sprowston Junior School pupils ahead of a mile-long run which more than one million children took part in across the country.

Every primary school in Norfolk has registered to host a Tesco Great School Run event of their own, but only two schools in the county were chosen to receive celebrity visits - Sprowston Junior School and Toftwood Junior School in Dereham.

Mr Jackson said: “This recreation ground is such a good facility and there is a real buzz here - in the assembly this morning the children were all asking me questions like what did I used to eat before a race, so I can tell they're taking it seriously and thinking about eating the right things and keeping fit.

“Teaching them about that is the most important thing at that age because it's part of their learning journey of life and they will take it through to adulthood.

“I used to love sport as a child but we didn't really have any initiatives like this - I wish we had though because they are fantastic and get everybody involved - it's all about taking part and not just high-end stuff.”

Neil Reeds, the school's Year 3 teacher, said: “All the children from our four year groups were involved in the run, so there were about 240 of them all together, and they loved it.

“We had spoken to them about Colin Jackson beforehand and told them what he had achieved, and I think they were quite in awe of him. There was also another member of the Tesco team who presented a children's television programme, and they were very excited about that too.

“We take health and fitness very seriously at the school and there are a lot of after sports school clubs and things, so to have Colin Jackson here to inspire them even more was fantastic.”

Mr Jackson's visit was his second trip to the city, and he said he thought it was a “really nice” place, before backing the city's bid to become the UK City of Culture 2013.

He added: “I think Norwich should win the City of Culture bid - it's really nice, really green and the people here are so friendly. I think sometimes this part of the world gets forgotten and I hope that doesn't happen.”

Are you expecting a visit from a celebrity? Call Sam Emanuel on 01603 772438 or email sam.emanuel@archant.co.uk.

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