Paralympic gold medallist drops in at Haverhill school

Paralympian Claire Cunningham visits Westfield Primary School. ANL-160329-093310001
Paralympian Claire Cunningham visits Westfield Primary School. ANL-160329-093310001

Pupils at a Haverhill school were given an inspiring fitness session when Paralympian Claire Cunningham paid them a visit.

Mrs Cunningham broke the world record when she won gold in the S9 50m freestyle swim at the Paralympics in Barcelona in 1992 and is hoping to compete at this year’s games in Rio in the paratriathlon.

She visited Westfield Primary Academy in Chalkstone Way recently to put pupils through their paces, with each student being sponsored for the fitness session to raise money for sports equipment for the school.

Matt Martin, PE leader at the school, said: “It was a fantastic opportunity for all children to take part in what could be a once in a lifetime opportunity.

“It was fantastic to have Claire working with the pupils and her visit fitted in perfectly with our values around inspiration and striving for excellence.”

The visit fitted in with the school’s ethos of healthy living and sport as each of Westfield’s houses are named after Olympic greats – Jessica Ennis, Andy Murray, Victoria Pendleton and Mo Farah.

Mrs Cunningham, who was born without her left forearm, retired from swimming following the Paralympics in Atlanta in 1996.

She chose to take up triathlon 10 years later and is on track for the Rio Paralympics.