OLYMPIC athlete Holly Bleasdale vaulted into school to inspire schoolchildren to be the best.
Holly, who will part of Team GB at the London 2012 games, took time out of her training schedule to drop in at St James’ High School in Farnworth — where her mum, Debbie Bleasedale, is assistant head of learning support.
The 19-year-old is among the top 10 best pole vaulters in the world, making her one of Great Britain’s biggest Olympic hopefuls.
Olympic fever is running high in the school, and Holly used the opportunity to point out how the same rules on the sports field can be applied in the classroom.
She said: “I want to come into schools to try to inspire just a few people.
“When I was at school I still concentrated on my academic subjects even though I was interested in sport, but because I did sport I was more motivated in my classes like maths because I had more energy.”
She added: “I want to be the best at what I do and that is what keeps me motivated and determined, but I still like doing what young people do, going out with my friends and family. “You can still be a young person and have the drive and motivation to achieve.”
In English, Holly helped with pupils’ listening and speaking skills by encouraging them give a live commentary on her sporting performance.
Emily Patterson, aged 15, said: “Having Holly here shows that you should never give up and keep trying.”
Lorenzo Soruri, aged 15, added: “I am looking forward to seeing Holly at the Olympics. You do get more excited about the games when athletes visit.”
Robbie Todd, aged 15, said: “It is inspiring speaking to Holly and how you should just keep going when you might suffer a knock-back like she did.”
Nicole Jackson, aged 15, a torchbearer, said: “I carried the torch, but I have never met an Olympic athlete so it was really good to meet Holly.”
Holly’s mum, Mrs Bleasdale, added: “I am so proud of her. She is an inspiration to everyone, but she is still the same down-to-earth Holly she has always been.”