Thorpedo puts Hackney pupils through their paces

Pupils from a school overlooking the 2012 Olympic site were put through their paces by Olympic gold medallist swimmer Ian Thorpe.

The Australian swimmer met young Olympic Construction Crew ambassadors from Gainsborough Primary School at the launch of the 50th outdoor exercise park funded by sportswear firm adidas.

The 28-year-old five times Olympic gold medallist is nicknamed Thorpedo for his speed in the water and has revealed his dreams of returning from retirement to compete in next year’s London games.

He met the youngsters at the Hackney (East) adiZone, at Mabley Green, Off Lee Conservancy Road and went through an exercise routine with them.

The school’s Kerry Harwood said: “They were excited to meet an Olympic medallist. He was down to earth and really interested and interacted very well with the children. He gave them advice about sports.”

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The children are picked as ambassadors for their interest in sports and the scheme helps build their self esteem.

Pupils from the school at Berkshire Road have met other Olympians including Dame Kelly Holmes and also chatted to Bishop Desmond Tutu.

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Their school looks out over the Media Centre on the Olympic Park and pictures of the changing shape of the park are regularly posted on its website.

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