Rebecca Adlington visits St Albans sports centre

Olympic swimmers Rebecca Adlington and Steve Parry

Olympic swimmers Rebecca Adlington and Steve Parry - Credit: Archant

A school sports session of Olympic proportions was held by a city centre leisure centre last week and supported by two famous medal-winning swimmers.

Rebecca Adlington and Steve Parry led a warm-up for a group of over a thousand students outside Westminster Lodge on Thursday as part of an Olympic Legacy initiative to get kids active.

The pupils, aged seven to 11, dived into the morning work-out with a series of star-jumps, stretches and energetic movements before breaking off into groups and taking part in a number of fun fitness games.

Two-time gold medallist Rebecca was bowled over by the enthusiasm of the district’s schoolchildren who she described as happy and “raring to go”.

The 25-year-old said: “Days like this are so important. I think for me what I love about them the most is that you’re doing activities that every single person can do.”

She went on that the day provides a great way for people who may not be good at sport or built for certain sports to remain active, adding: “Not everyone’s competitive. It’s about staying active in general.”

When asked who she credited for helping her in her journey to sporting success, she quickly praised her parents: “They were the ones that took it really seriously. They got me into every single sport.”

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And the sports star had nothing but kind words to say about the district’s Holywell Hill sports centre, with the swimming facilities catching her eye.

She said: “It’s an amazing pool! I wanted to get in myself. I was also impressed by the kids gym – I’ve never seen a kids gym before.”

The former I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here contestant added: “St Albans is doing pretty well for sport and fitness right now. I definitely think it could be one of the best at sports.”

Mayor of St Albans District, Cllr Geoff Harrison, joined Rebecca in the morning warm up and mingled with schoolchildren and teachers.

He said: “The children all had great fun taking part in a sports warm-up session alongside the double Olympic gold medal winner.

“The memory of her visit will stay a long time with the children and hopefully inspire them to take part in sports activities on a regular basis to help them keep fit.”

In addition to running free events such as the Olympic Legacy Day in collaboration with Fit for Sport, Everyone Active will be providing training to teachers. Schools are also going to be offered free access to the youth gym.