Katherine's golden day with young
FASCINATED pupils at Alderman Knight School got to see an Olympic gold medallist up close and personal.
Katherine Grainger's visit yesterday to the Tewkesbury special needs school caused great excitement.
After winning the double sculls event at the London Games with Anna Watkins, Katherine became one of the nation's gold medal-winning heroines.
And she was only too pleased to show off her medal as well as take part in PE lessons.
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The 36-year-old, who is from Scotland but now lives in Maidenhead in Berkshire, said: "It's lovely and an amazing thing to be able to do.
"There was no flexibility in my training programme so that meant I couldn't come down here before the Olympics."
She said not all the children were fully aware of what she had achieved but those that were fired lots of questions at her, such as what it was like to sing the national anthem.
The visit came about as Katherine knew Lizzie Smith and Sarah Donnan, whose nine-year-old daughter Linda Donnan-Smith attends the school.
Lizzie said: "Katherine came because she's got a lot of affection for Linda but also because she is very much a people person and has a lot of empathy for Linda's special needs.
"It was fantastic. The school was thrilled and we were really pleased that we were able to get Katherine there and that the children had the opportunity to interact with her and get her involved in their PE lessons."
Katherine added that she had known Lizzie and Sarah for a long time, having met them for business reasons.
She said they had helped cheer her on to victory at the Olympics by attending her big race.
Her visit to Tewkesbury was the second by a British Olympic rowing star in three weeks.
Zac Purchase thrilled Tewkesbury School pupils on September 28 by launching their new rowing club.