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Former Olympian visits local schools

TWO projects in Ceredigion have been successful in gaining support from a former Olympic and Commonwealth Games swimmer as part of the ‘Sky Sports: Living for Sport’ initiative.

Tom Haffield was a professional swimmer and competitor at the Beijing Olympic Games and the Commonwealth Games in Delhi and Glasgow.

He is now an ambassador, alongside 100 other world-class athletes from a range of different sports who are delivering free visits to schools to share their inspiring stories of success and support.

The ‘Sky Sports: Living for Sport’ initiative is a free initiative open to UK and Ireland secondary schools that utilise sports stars and the skills learn ed through sport to build confidence and develop life skills. As an ambassador, Tom visited two projects in Ceredigion in March – Canolfan Bro Steffan Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) in Cribyn and Canolfan Aeron PRU in Aberaeron.

Tom visited Canolfan Bro Steffan and worked with groups of pupils aged between 13 and 15 to develop their health and wellbeing awareness. Tom shared his story about how he competed in the Olympic and Commonwealth Games, and discussed how the pupils could improve their own health and wellbeing.

Councillor Hag Harris, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Learning Services, Children and Young People’s Partnership, said: “This was a great opportunity for the young people to see what exactly it takes to be a professional sports player and see the dedication and ambition to perform at that level.”

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He added: “They also had the opportunity to enjoy a session on team work and communication skills by swimming with Tom. We hope this will inspire the pupils and give them some confidence to achieve whatever they put their mind to.”

Tom also visited pupils aged between 15-16 at Canolfan Aeron PRU in Aberaeron to develop their literacy skills. As part of this project, he accompanied the pupils on a visit to Radio Ceredigion in Narberth, where the pupils were given the chance to interview him.

Hag Harris said: “Liam, David and Daniel prepared excellent questions and demonstrated fabulous potential as future interviewers. The day really helped with their literacy skills and gave them a taste of what it’s like to be a radio presenter.”

The interview went live on Radio Ceredigion and can still be listened to as a podcast via the website: radioceredigion.wales.