School sports day pupils welcome Paralympic medal winner

Andover Advertiser: Alexandra Rickham with pupils Jack Sanford, 10, Lara Middleton, eight, Will McIntyre, 10, Oliver Barfield, 10, Luella Kent, 10, Katie Palmer, 10, and Calum Meechen, 10 Buy this photo » Alexandra Rickham with pupils Jack Sanford, 10, Lara Middleton, eight, Will McIntyre, 10, Oliver Barfield, 10, Luella Kent, 10, Katie Palmer, 10, and Calum Meechen, 10

AN INSPIRATIONAL Paralympian was the guest of honour at a Pamber End school.

Bronze medal winner Alexandra Rickham, who lives in Epsom, Surrey, travelled to The Priory Primary School to be there for their annual sports day.

Alexandra competed in the SKUD 18 sailing event with Niki Birrell and was invited to the school through a personal contact.

Headteacher Suzanne Kelly said: “We are absolutely thrilled she agreed to come here, it’s a real honour for the school and it’s wonderful for the children to be able to meet her.

“The whole country has been so inspired by the Olympics and Paralympics.”

Alexandra, who is originally from Jamaica but moved to England as a teenager, told The Gazette her life had been a whirlwind since the games She said: “It’s been absolutely crazy. The support has been incredible. It’s great to be able to come here and meet the children and hopefully inspire them to get involved in sports.

“We were gunning for gold but, of course, I’m pleased to have won a medal.”

Alexandra, 31, became disabled after breaking her back in a diving accident in 1995 but didn’t start sailing in earnest until studying at Imperial College, London, 10 years later.

As well as meeting the children and watching them at their sports day she also brought in her Olympic torch.

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