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Walsall’s swimming superstar Ellie Simmonds goes back to school

By Heather Large | Walsall | Education | Published:

Paralympics superstar Ellie Simmonds returned to her former school as guest of honour for a visit which included a swimming masterclass.

The Aldridge-born gold medalist hosted two assemblies at Hydesville Tower School, in Walsall, speaking to pupils in both the Prep and Senior Schools about her achievements and experiences.

Acting headteacher Kamaldeep Nijjar said she had been delighted to welcome Ellie, who she described as 'exceptional role model' for the students, back to the school.

The 22-year-old, who had numerous world records to her name, also bought in three of her Olympic medals that the children had the chance to hold.

During her visit to the school where she started as a three-year-old in the nursery class and stayed until she was six on Wednesday, Ellie also taught a swimming lesson putting some selected pupils through their paces.

Acting headteacher Kamaldeep Nijjar “It was a privilege to have Ellie in school to share with our pupils the story of her tremendous success.

"She is an exceptional role model for youngsters and her message that anyone one can accomplish their dreams with hard work and perseverance was truly inspirational.

"We hope her visit will encourage our pupils to pursue their own goals whatever their interests may be."

It's not the first time Ellie has returned to the school in Broadway North. Among her previous visits have been the to open the annual fundraising school fete where she also signed autographs for pupils, parents and teachers.

Ellie won her first two Paralympic titles aged 13 in Beijing in 2008 and is now a five-time gold medallist after successfully defending the individual medley title she won in London four years ago.

She set a Paralympic record in qualifying and a dominant performance in the final saw her win in a world record of two minutes 59.81 seconds.

Heather Large

By Heather Large
Special projects reporter - @HeatherL_star

Senior reporter and part of the Express & Star special projects team specialising in education and human interest features.

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