Stowupland High School pupils meet Olympic gold medallist Jessica Ennis-Hill

Stowupland High School staff and students with Jessica Ennis-Hill and Darren Campbell at the Sky Aca

Stowupland High School staff and students with Jessica Ennis-Hill and Darren Campbell at the Sky Academy Confidence Day. - Credit: Archant

Students at a Suffolk school had the opportunity to rub shoulders with an Olympic gold medallist at an event aimed at building confidence by taking part in sporting activities.

The youngsters from Stowupland High School were part of a group of 300 secondary school students aged 11-18 to take part in the Sky Academy Confidence Day with Jessica Ennis-Hill at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.

The campaign was established after research conducted by YouGov discovered that one in three (33%) young people, aged 11-24, said they were not confident.

Stowupland High School won the opportunity to attend the day after entering a nationwide competition.

Ennis-Hill, who is an ambassador for Sky Academy, said: “In my mind, sport is a great way to build confidence.

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“It promotes discipline, it releases endorphins that make you feel good and when you win, it’s a real confidence booster.”

Phoebe Hayden, a year 10 student at Stowupland said: “It’s so much fun learning from the athlete mentors, and they helped me appreciate the importance of things like resilience and teamwork. Also I can’t believe I met Jessica Ennis-Hill – she’s such an amazing athlete and an inspiration.”

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Alistair Dick, a teacher at the school, said: “It’s very important for young people to have faith in themselves and trust their ability.

“Speaking to someone like Ennis-Hill does wonders engaging the students and helping them unlock their potential, both in sport and academically.”

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