Ilkeston pupils inspired by bronze medalist

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Students at an Ilkeston school were inspired by a medal-winning athlete in a bid to boost their confidence.

Retired basketball player Andrew Bridge, who won bronze in the Commonwealth Games for England in Australia in 2006, visited Saint John Houghton Catholic Voluntary Academy in Kirk Hallam.

He worked with ten boys in year eight in a bid to boost their confidence and engage them in sport as well as teaching them real-life skills. They also took part in activities designed to improve how they work as a team.

Rich Harris, PE teacher at Saint John Houghton CVA, said: “Andrew worked with the group all day and they were boys who perhaps lack a bit of confidence when it comes to PE and sport. He helped to build their confidence and gave them activities to do that meant they had to work together.

“They all loved it and it was great to see them speaking up as normally they would be the quiet ones in a PE lesson, taking more of a back seat.”

Andrew retired from basketball in the summer of 2013 after a successful career with the Newcastle Eagles and the Sheffield Sharks. He won a total of 19 championships.

He said: “We were working to engage these boys in sport and to try to boost their confidence and they took part in a series of mental and physical challenges to help with this.

“They are normally a bit quiet in PE lessons and it’s been nice to see their personalities coming through.”