A Bolton primary school played host to a very special guest at a celebration of its children’s sporting success.

The event was held at Heathfield Primary School on Hennicker Road in Daubhill marking the schools very first “Sportsperson Dinner”, with pupils thrilled to see Rugby League star Ryan Brierly arrive to make a keynote speech.

Children and adults alike made a very special effort for the prestigious event and dressed up their very best formal wear to hear the Salford Red Devils star speak, which staff hope will instil a lifelong appreciation for sporting prowess in the youngsters.

Headteacher Mark Thornley said: “PE and sport is an important part of the Heathfield curriculum to ensure children are physically and mentally healthy.

“Alongside the physical benefits of taking part in physical activity, it provides opportunities for children to develop their character, or their Heathfield Heart, as we call it.

“Children learn to play as team, learn to communicate effectively, problem solve and strategise, develop leadership skills and sportsmanship and children feel happy and fulfilled when playing sports.”

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The school has a proud sporting heritage to build on

This was a message that Brierly was only too happy to help take to the children, with his speech focusing on about the importance of having high expectations for yourself, including good manners and dressing smartly.

Doing this, he said, was just one way of working toward achieving their dreams and ambitions in whatever their chosen careers maybe, not just in the sporting arena.

Heathfield Primary caters to children in the 5-11 age bracket but Rugby League fans amongst the parents and staff were sure to remember Brierly’s four years with nearby Leigh Centurions between 2012 and 2016 and his brief returns in 2019 and 2021.

The Bolton News:

Pupils and staff dressed their very best for the event

Since then, 30-year-old the Preston born Scotland international has been winning new fans at Salford Red Devils.

But last Thursday’s event wasn’t just about the pupils themselves, with Mr Thornley emphasising that it was also an opportunity to thank parents and carers for all their support, both to their own children and to the school and the wider community.