GB Olympic swimmer gives pupils a pep talk

Jack Burnell and sponsor Chris Morris with students at Kesteven and Sleaford High School. EMN-160319-134202001
Jack Burnell and sponsor Chris Morris with students at Kesteven and Sleaford High School. EMN-160319-134202001

Students and staff at a Sleaford school were excited to receive a visit from one of the first British athletes to qualify for a place at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Open water swimmer Jack Burnell, 22, from Scunthorpe, talked to Years 11-13 at Kesteven and Sleaford High School about motivation and hard work in readiness for their upcoming exams.

The visit was arranged by his sponsor, Chris Morris, Dealer Principal from Listers Mercedes-Benz and Smart of Lincoln, whose daughter Poppy is in Year Seven.

Jack came fresh from winning silver in the open water swimming world championships in Abu Dhabi and will be competing in the gruelling 10km swim at the Olympics.

Jack was pleased to give something back to local students, saying: “It went really well and everyone really engaged. It doesn’t bother me getting up and speaking to people about something I enjoy.”

Speaking about going to the Games, he said: “I’m an incredibly lucky person and it will be a great achievement and experience for me.” But it takes dedication and hard work. He trains in the pool for two hours twice a day and spends an hour in the gym. He said: “It is about dedicating your whole life to something and putting every single waking moment of your day into one specific thing.”

He paid tribute to his supportive parents and saw his own studies as key to further goals in life, including business.