Paralympian’s visit to St Botolph’s inspires

Sports mentors Sophie Allen and Sam Ruddock with pupils at St Botolph's School, Quarrington. EMN-180219-182733001
Sports mentors Sophie Allen and Sam Ruddock with pupils at St Botolph's School, Quarrington. EMN-180219-182733001

Primary school children were treated to an inspirational visit by a pair of Paralympic and Olympic athletes at the end of term.

Paralympic shot putter Sam Ruddock joined retired British Olympic swimmer Sophie Allen in a visit to St Botolph’s School, Quarrington, as part of a schools programme run by Grantham-based sports charity Inspire+.

Sam, 28, whose family live in Grantham, is currently training for the 2020 summer Paralymnpics in Tokyo representing Team GB in the F35 classification for athletes with cerebral palsy in the lower limbs. He is the current British record holder for the F35 shot put.

He competed as a sprinter in the London 2012 games but made the switch to shot put for the 2016 Rio games due to the limitations of his body.

He has worked as an athlete mentor and ambassador since 2013, working in schools to encourage pupils to use the values and lessons learnt through sport, to better their academic performance.

Sam said: “I talk to the children about myself and my story and, hopefully, offer some inspirational messages along the way.”

Sophie Allen, 25, is a swimmer from Fulbeck who represented Great Britain in the 200m individual medley in the 2012 London Olympics and in the European championships where she won a silver medal.

She explained: “I have been supporting Sam doing team building workshops but often come into the school as part of the core team at Inspire+ doing mentoring and leadership programmes.”