KEEP FIT: Pupils at Oakley Cross Primary School marked the opening of their new outdoor gym with a visit from Olympic weightlifter Kelly-Jo Robson
KEEP FIT: Pupils at Oakley Cross Primary School marked the opening of their new outdoor gym with a visit from Olympic weightlifter Kelly-Jo Robson

AN international weightlifter, who is ranked first in Britain, stopped by at a school in West Auckland to open up more sporting opportunities for youngsters.

Kelly-Jo Robson visited Oakley Cross Primary School to officially open their new outdoor gym equipment.

The British champion, who lives in Stockton, made her international debut at the Commonwealth Games back in April this year.

The 30-year-old finished in sixth place. She is now preparing to represent her country in the world championships next month.

Ms Robson cut the ribbon at the school on Friday, September 28, and declared the equipment open during her visit.

She said: “I feel really honoured to be asked to open the outdoor gym. I have never done anything like this before. It is nice to be able to open up more physical opportunities for the children.”

The new outdoor gym equipment was paid for using the school’s 2017/18 PE and sport premium funding which is allocated annually by the government.

Pupils will have access to the leg press, cross trainer, hip surfer, body twist and double dips apparatus every break time.

Sam Turner

New playground markings such as a running track have also been introduced.

Physical education leader, Kathleen Turner, said: “We are investing the money into activities and equipment, which promote the emotional wellbeing of the children. We are trying to get them active as much as possible.”

Ms Robson also watched the whole school, including staff, take part in their daily Skip2Bfit workshop.

Everyone started the school day with four minutes of skipping on the playground.

Ms Turner said: “With the skipping, we have found that it has improved the children’s emotional wellbeing and it wakes them up on a morning.

“They are much more engaged in their learning across the board and they have lots of fun as well as becoming physically fitter.

“We are trying to introduce new sports and activities to promote involvement and increase levels of engagement.”

Throughout the morning the children took part in weightlifting workshops with Ms Robson and were given the opportunity to ask questions.