CHILDREN got their school day off to a flying start by fitness training alongside an Olympic athlete.

Long jumper Chris Tomlinson took a break from training for Rio 2016 to visit Sugar Hill Primary School, in Newton Aycliffe, this morning (Wednesday, November 4) to inspire its pupils to get active.

The three times Olympic athlete from Middlesbrough talked about the importance of exercise, training, good nutrition and attitude and how he reached the highest level in his chosen sport.

The 34-year-old then led a fun workout of press-up, star jump, treadmill and spotty dog moves to a soundtrack of their favourite pop songs and cheering classmates.

He said: “I was into sport from day one but not everyone is, a lot of people watch sport on TV and think it is all about getting to elite level but it is really about having fun and being fit and healthy.”

With a four-month-old daughter and sons aged two and three, Mr Tomlinson is enthusiastic about encouraging youngsters to enjoy keeping fit.

He said: “I’m not a pushy parent but will make sure they do a bit of sport.”

Pupils were sponsored to take part in the activities and the funds they raise will be shared between the Sports for Schools initiative, which organised the event, and the school for new PE equipment.

Teacher and PE co-ordinator Gary Foxton said: “It was a fantastic opportunity for the school and nice that he is quite local, the pupils can believe it could be them.

“We have lots of children with different goals, to reach their potential in sports such as football, athletics, running and water polo but also the ones who just want to try new things and we try to give them that opportunity.”