Pupils meet Britain’s best gymnast to mark Olympic Day


Britain’s most successful gymnast swung by Bede’s on Monday (June 22) to join in with the school’s Olympic Day celebrations.

Beth Tweddle MBE visited the school in Upper Dicker, Hailsham on Monday as part of the annual worldwide celebration of the Olympic movement.

Nearly 800 pupils from Bede’s Senior and Prep Schools, and local primary school Park Mead, joined together for an Olympic Run.

Before officially starting the race, Beth spoke to the pupils about her love of gymnastics, which she began aged seven, and her dream of becoming an Olympic medalist - a dream which was realised in 2012 when she won bronze at the London Olympic Games.

Bede’s director of sport, Andrew Hibbert, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate everything good about sport.

“The Olympic Day Run takes place in almost 200 countries and it’s a real privilege for Bede’s to host one of the races.”

Beth, a triple World Champion, six-time European Champion, Commonwealth Champion and seven-times consecutive National Champion, said: “It was wonderful to see so much enthusiasm from staff and pupils.

“The Olympics means a lot to me so it’s great to see Bede’s supporting it in this way.”

Bede’s Schools headmaster, Dr Richard Maloney, added: “We are delighted and privileged to have an athlete of Beth’s calibre come along to inspire the boys and girls of Bede’s Prep and Senior Schools, and Park Mead Primary School.

“Who know, there may be a future Olympian among them.”

Beth retired in August 2013 but not before rewriting the history books. The 30-year-old is the most successful British gymnast, male or female, in the history of the sport.

She was the first female gymnast from Great Britain to win a medal at the European Championships, World Championships, and Olympic Games and in 2010, she was included in the Queen’s New Years Honours List, and received an MBE for her success, commitment and dedication to gymnastics.

Olympic Day is celebrated every year on or around June 23, to remember the day the event was first held in 1894. It’s a day for the world to get active, learn about Olympic values and discover new sports. For more information about Olympic Day, visit www.olympic.org/olympic-day.

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