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Olympian Anna Watkins visits Holmes Chapel primary school
8:20am Thursday 13th September 2012 in News
A HOLMES Chapel Primary School has been treated to a visit from one of Team GB’s Olympic gold medallists.
Anna Watkins, who won gold in the double skulls rowing event, visited Hermitage Primary on Friday.
Anna, 29, who was born in Leek, won the title with Katherine Grainger and broke the Olympic record on the way to the final.
Head teacher Helen Jarrold thanked Anna for coming to visit the pupils.
“She has really inspired the children with her enthusiasm, dedication and success,” she said.
“At Hermitage, the children have the opportunity to take part in many sports and many of our children attend out of school clubs, too.
“Twenty nine children attended the Olympics and Paralympics in London.
“We held an assembly earlier in the week, when children talked about their favourite memories and the tremendous atmosphere in all the venues.
“It really has inspired the children at Hermitage.”
ANAIS Benadie, who is in Year 6, explained to the Guardian what it was like to meet a gold-medal winning Olympian.
“As Anna Watkins entered the room, a sea of heads turned to see the Olympian,” she said.
“She greeted us with a jolly smile, reached into her bag and pulled out a glittering gold medal.
“Carefully, she passed it to one of the children.
“Everyone listened intensely, as Anna told us about her career as a rower. Someone asked ‘how many hours a week do you train?’ and the reply was ‘30 to 35’. I could just imagine the Olympic village, as she described the atmosphere as excited and nervous.
“She said everything was sparkling and new, and there was just about every type of food to eat.
“Soon it was time for a class photograph with Anna Watkins.
“Anna stood at the back of all of us with her medal and, after having our photo with Anna, some of us lined up to get her autograph.
“Anna had other classes to go to, so she waved goodbye to us and exited the room.”