A YOUNG rower hoping to compete in the London 2012 Olympics returned to his old school to inspire others.

Jonathan Brown, known to friends as JB, left Wellfield School, in Wingate, County Durham, after winning a rowing scholarship to Shipley College, in Henley, Oxfordshire.

In just a few months, the 16- year-old has risen from 31st fastest in trials to eighth. He is also part of the World Class Stars, an elite training programme targeting the 2012 Games.

JB, from Hesleden, east Durham, visited the school on Thursday, to present certificates to pupils who had performed well in County Durham indoor rowing championships. Two pupils, Josh Maslen and Hayley Scarr, qualified for the next stage of the contest.