ATHLETIC pupils leapt at the chance to join in a sponsored sports event with an Olympic long jumper.

Silver medallist Chris Tomlinson, of Middlesbrough, helped students at Cockerton C of E Primary School, in Darlington, complete a circuit of exercises to help raise funds for new PE equipment as part of a Sports for Schools initiative.

More than 190 students took part in the event, completing four minute long exercises, cheered along by three times Olympian Chris and fellow athlete Chris Kirk.

British long jumper and Sportivator Chris Kirk, who missed out on a place at the 2012 London Olympics after breaking his foot, said: “This is a great opportunity to come into schools and help kids to get active with a few fun and simple exercises.

“Sport is a wonderful way of engaging with pupils and the Sports for Schools sponsored events also helps teachers buy in extra equipment to offer even more choice to students.

“I’ve trained with Chris Tomlinson for many years and for the children to have a local Olympic athlete come into their school really brings home the reality of sport and what they can maybe achieve themselves in the future.”

Children from years 1-6 got their blood pumping with spotted dog jumps, knee jumps, star jumps and press ups before listening to a motivational talk by Mr Tomlinson.

“I started playing sport when I was about four-years-old,” he said. “I did whatever I could whenever I could, football, tennis, rugby or athletics.

“It’s so important for everyone to work from a good base: to keep fit, healthy and strong and that is exactly what the students here at Cockerton have been doing today.

“I tell young people to always give 110 per cent effort in everything they do – not everyone can be the best but if you always try your hardest then you can be proud of what you’ve done.”

The event was organised by teaching assistant Claire Nicholas and Cockerton’s Year 6 sports leaders.