Olympic volleyball player visits Rush Green Primary School

PUBLISHED: 12:37 30 January 2020 | UPDATED: 12:37 30 January 2020

Peter Bakare and Gianni Frankis with pupils from Rush Green Primary School. Picture: Bethany Deer

Peter Bakare and Gianni Frankis with pupils from Rush Green Primary School. Picture: Bethany Deer


An Olympic volleyball player has visited Rush Green Primary School after their win at a borough-wide competition.

Peter Bakare, who represented Team GB at London 2012, visited pupils at the Dagenham Road school to inspire the pupils to stay active and get into sport as part of the Sports for Schools project.

The visit, on Wednesday, January 29, came a day after the school's win in Barking and Dagenham's sitting volleyball competition.

Peter spent the day at Rush Green accompanied by his 'sportivater' Gianni Frankis, a hurdler whose role was to encourage the children to stay motivated as they guided pupils through a fitness circuit.

Peter, from Canning Town, also led an assembly to encourage the children to stay as active as possible. He spoke about what inspired him to get into sport and how he stays motivated to continue. He brought pupils up on stage and taught them how to throw like a professional.

The 30-year-old wanted the pupils to know they can do anything. When asked what he wanted the pupils to take away from his visit, he said: "I want them know they can do anything they want as long as they put their mind to it."

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The school's sitting volleyball team, which features children from Year 5 and 6 with a range of abilities, competed against five other schools during the tournament.

Reception teacher Laura Griffiths said: "The idea that an actual volleyball player was coming in the day after (the competition), the children couldn't wait."

Sports for Schools brings top athletes into schools to inspire children and raise money for PE equipment for the school, for charity and for Team GB athletes through participation in sport sponsorship activities.

Rush Green has had four visits from athletes since joining the project four years ago.

Cheryl Tracey, head of PE, said: "In this area there's a high level of poverty and deprivation.

"A lot of our kids are disadvantaged. We wanted to bring in athletes that would have an impact on them."

The school want to get their children more active, Cheryl said, adding: "We're hoping to motivate and inspire children to develop a lifelong love of sport."

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