Gallery: Olympian out to inspire young Suffolk sporting dreams

OLYMPIC athlete Colin Jackson sprinted into Suffolk to boost youngsters’ dreams of being a sporting hero.

The former world champion at 110m hurdles stopped off at Howard Middle School in Bury St Edmunds yesterday to inspire pupils to think about their role models.

Students from Howard Middle and Tollgate Primary Schools in the town enjoyed ball games, skill challenges and a final lap around a track as part of a project by the Bury St Edmunds School Sport Partnership (SSP) to encourage more children to get active.

Mr Jackson, 43, said: “This is a brilliant campaign to help kids get involved in sport.

“When I was younger, Daley Thompson was everything I wanted to be.

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“It is so important to have inspirational role models, whether it is someone famous or your neighbour or mum and dad.”

As part of the project, which hopes to ensure every child has access to five hours of sport a week by 2012, youngsters can nominate their own superstar for a Sports Hero Award.

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Young pupils were also put through their paces by the world record holder, with a little help from mascot Rory the lion, to launch the Tesco Great School Run.

Around one million school children across the country will take part in a two-kilometre fun run between June 14 to 18 to encourage them to exercise and have fun.

“This is a vital age group and it all about getting them to enjoy play,” Mr Jackson said. “They have really enjoyed shouting and cheering. It’s what being young is all about.”

The Strictly Come Dancing star later went on to visit youngsters at Sidegate Primary School in Ipswich who were also given tips on healthy eating and exercise.

Neil Johnson, partnership development manager for the SSP, said: “One of our key aims is to promote positive role models for children to encourage them to take up sport.

“Colin has had an amazing career and we hope some of the children will be inspired by him.”

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