Sporting icon meets Harrogate school children

Olympic long jumper Chris Tomlinson with youngsters who took part in a sports literacy programme at Harrogate High School. (1412092AM1)
Olympic long jumper Chris Tomlinson with youngsters who took part in a sports literacy programme at Harrogate High School. (1412092AM1)
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Sporting youngsters at Harrogate High School met a national icon this month.

Long jumper Chris Tomlinson, who jumped a record 8.35m that stood until this year, was at the school to hand out prizes to primary school pupils from across the town.

The children had been taking part in a programme of sport designed to motivate them in their literacy.

Literacy Through Sport is a combined effort between former Harrogate High PE teacher David Moss and his company Sporting Influence, and an online initiative, lendmeyourliteracy.com, that showcases children’s work on a national level.

Mr Moss said: “The pupils have been really excited to be using the excellent sporting facilities at the high school and that has been great.

“All of those that have been on the programme are recognised as published authors because they have put a piece of work on the website and people can make a comment on it.”

The programme took place over six weeks, and Mr Tomlinson took the children through their paces at the end with a practical session before answering questions, signing messages, and handing out prizes.

Harrogate High School executive headteacher Andrew Bayston said: “David did some great work with primary school pupils, bringing in the motivating effects of sport.

“It is a really good partnership and something we can provide in terms of facilities. It also breaks down the barrier between secondary and primary, which is still quite a transition for our young people to go through, and anything we can do to narrow that gap is good.

“The work David is involved in is high quality and motivational and students get to meet good and strong role models from the sporting world.

“This is what Chris Tomlinson provided. He is at the top of his profession and he is quite natural with the young people.”

Another Literacy Through Sport programme will take place at the high school in January, and at Rudding Park in summer 2015.