Paralympian inspires Gleed boys

Wheelchair basketball athlete Joe Bestwick (back left) with teachers Ian Billinghurst and Will Scott and pupils.
Wheelchair basketball athlete Joe Bestwick (back left) with teachers Ian Billinghurst and Will Scott and pupils.
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PUPILS from Sir John Gleed School were thrilled when Paralympic athlete Joe Bestwick visited as part of a scheme to improve the lives of young people using sports.

The wheelchair basketball athlete gave two inspirational assemblies to pupils from years 7 to 9, who were lining up at the end to get an autograph from the bronze medallist.

Mr Bestwick also worked with 15 gifted and talented boys who are raising money for Sports Relief with a football project.

PE teacher Ian Billinghurst, who signed the school’s project up for the Sky Sports Living for Sports initiative, said: “Pupils who weren’t in the scheme this year are asking about doing it next year. It raises the profile of sport in schools and it really inspired the children.”

Students taking part in the project will organise the football fixtures and referee all the games themselves.

Pupils are hoping to raise at least £125 from the football league as well as a bounce-a-thon and ‘Challenge a Teacher’, in which pupils go head-to-head with teachers.

Encouraging young people in sports has been a big focus in the school in the run up to the Olympics.

Pupils have been given bronze, silver and gold workbooks filled with sports related tasks, as well as fun dares such as as “sing in front of a group”, and are given prizes if they manage to complete them.

Mr Billinghurst added: “We really want to highlight the Olympic values. The Olympics are going to leave a legacy, but as a PE teacher, I see sports as a lifetime activity.”