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Sprint champion opens new track at Langham Primary School

The opening of the new track at Langham Primary School. submitted
The opening of the new track at Langham Primary School. submitted

A track which has been installed at a primary school to encourage children to walk or run a mile a day was officially opened by paralympic sprint champion Sophie Hahn.

Sophie opened the 160 metre track, which is made out of artificial grass, after talking about her career at an assembly at Langham Primary School ahead of the opening on Friday.

The school supports the ‘Daily Mile’ initiative, which promotes children running or jogging a mile each day and installed the £10,000 track on its playing field after receiving a £16,000 grant from the Government. The remaining funds will be used for sports equipment.

Sophie, who holds the Paralympic, World and European titles, said: “I think installing the track is inspiring and fantastic.

“If they are passionate you never know we might be making the next Sophie Hahn.

“I think it is really nice track - it is just good to get the kids active.”

The school has installed the track in an effort to keep the children healthy and reduce obesity.

Headteacher Dianne Rowland said: “It is for everyone, it is not just for the athletes in the school.

“I did it because I wanted the children to have the opportunity to get involved in fitness and to be active.

“They do not have to run, they can walk too. We just want them to be fit without feeling they have to be competitive.”

Sophie’s visit was a complete surprise to the pupils.

She was introduced by Dianne at an assembly held in the school sports hall ahead of the opening of the track - and her entrance was met with gasps followed by a rapturous round of applause from pupils and staff.

After answering questions about her career from pupil Isaac Johnson, Sophie, who was inspired to take up sport after watching London 2012 Olympics, joined pupils and staff on the playing field to open the track, before leading excited pupils on a lap of it.

Pupil Conni Robinson said: “The track is representative of our school. It is a good school and everyone is healthy.”

Nobby the Newt, the school’s new mascot is placed at the start of the track and was designed by pupil William Peasgood. Nobby’s motto is “he is not a fast runner” but enjoys running with his friends.

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