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Swimming champ Ellie Simmonds returns to Aldridge School to celebrate pupils' success

Walsall | News | Published:

Paralympic swimming star Ellie Simmonds was the guest of honour when she revisited her old school in Aldridge to meet pupils.

She took part in two special assemblies at Aldridge School and chatted to pupils who had taken part in a reading challenge to raise cash for charity.

Year 7 and 8 students raised £1,868 in the sponsored readathon, which will go to the CLIC Sargent charity for young cancer patients and The Roald Dahl Foundation.

They were challenged to read as many books as they can.

And part of their reward was to meet Paralympian Ellie, aged 18, of Aldridge. She was a pupil at the Tynings Lane school from 2006 to 2007 before moving schools to be near to her swimming coach in in Swansea.

She talked to students about her fantastic Olympics experience in both Beijing in 2008 and at London 2012. She picked up gold medals in the 100m and 400m freestyle at the Paralympics in China and won the hearts of the nation. On her return she received the MBE from the Queen, at aged 14.

The pupils also had the chance to grill her about being a teenager in the limelight.

"It is always great going to schools and inspiring students to achieve but it was especially good coming back to my old school," said Ellie, who bagged two golds, a silver and a bronze at the Paralympics 2012.

School librarian Harbans Kaur said: "We were thrilled that Ellie could find time in her hectic schedule to come to the school and celebrate the success of the readathon with our pupils who were inspired by her sporting achievements."

Before attending Aldridge School, Ellie went to Cooper & Jordan Primary School, also in the town.

Aldridge is home to a golden post box in her honour and hosted its own open-top bus parade following Ellie's London success. She was also nominated for BBC Sports Personality of the Year and triumphed in a charity edition of the Great British Bake Off.

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