Olympian’s mum is special guest at ‘Fit for Life’

DALRIADA School in Ballymoney has been helping local pupils get ‘fit for life’ and special guest was Jennifer Campbell, mother of Coleraine Olympic medal-winning rower Alan.

A spokesperson said: “We have almost completed our third successful year in the Ballymoney Sharing Education Programme, involving local primary and secondary schools in a number of programmes.

“Last year the Year 5 pupils from local schools were involved in the Building Bridges Programme and this year those same children have been learning about keeping fit, active and healthy.

“For this programme Dalriada School, in partnership with Ballymoney Model Controlled Integrated School, The Leaney, St Brigid’s and Sandelford School, has been involved in eight weeks centred on the theme of sport and healthy living – Fit for Life.

“The programme began in early January with presentations on the Olympics and Special Olympics, exhibition performances of various sports and guidance on healthy eating and living. Thereafter on the following six Wednesdays the pupils met at the Joey Dunlop Leisure Centre and spent 90 minutes with one another.

“Under the guidance of John Fall and the other coaches they were introduced to new skills and sports, learning to Dance and to play Table Tennis, Boccia, Curling, Indoor Golf and Bowls. In all activities the pupils worked with one another in a friendly and supportive way, regenerating the friendships established last year and making some new acquaintances also.

“On the morning of Wednesday 13th March the pupils met for the last time to attend the Celebration of the Fit for Life Programme and it was a delight to have the parents, teachers and Principals in attendance.

“We were honoured to have Mrs Jennifer Campbell as our special guest. Jennifer is well known as the recently retired principal of D H Christie Primary School and the mother of local Olympian and rower, Alan. She highlighted how a fit and healthy lifestyle can provide the basis of a career as well as enriching anyone’s life and allowed us to see pictures of Alan at the London Olympics, and the World Cup he had achieved in Rowing

“During the morning we were also able to watch some video footage of the children practising various sports and then some coaches, pupils and parents gave demonstrations of the necessary skills. The school principals then were awarded certificates and medals for presentation to the pupils at a special school assembly. The morning finished with refreshments for all and a chance for parents to chat to one another.

“Throughout all the activities the pupils have developed links with children and adults from lots of different backgrounds and life experiences and have thoroughly enjoyed making new friends and learning new skills.

“Particular thanks are due to John Fall and his fellow coaches from the Joey Dunlop Leisure Centre, and to the principals and teachers from all the partner schools. Everyone has been encouraged by the on-going success of our local Sharing Education Project and so we are sad that our funding will cease at the end of June. However the Principals will look at alternative sources of funding and hope to be able to sustain the good links established through SEP,” said the spokesperson.