PUPILS were treated to a special visit from an Olympic hopeful earlier this week to mark the unveiling of their new school running track.

Team GB heptathlete Holly Mills, who and hails from Hurstbourne Tarrant, visited Wallop Primary School on Tuesday morning following the completion of the site’s new running track.

The 20-year-old Tokyo 2021 hopeful took time out of her busy training regime – which includes up to eight hours of exercise per day – to answer questions from pupils before cutting the ribbon to officially open the school’s new facility.

The track will enable the pupils to take part in the daily mile challenge, an initiative that aims to get children running or jogging for 15 minutes a day to improve their physical and mental wellbeing and learning.

“We started it about two years ago,” said headteacher Martin Lambert. “The problem was, though, we couldn’t use the field in the winter, and the playground being tarmacked was really slippery.

“So we were looking for a surface that was durable, that wouldn’t freeze in the winter and wasn’t slippery.”

That search led the school to Dummer-based design and build contractor, Fieldform who helped them build the track to provide a year-round running surface for its eager pupils.

And the track has been built in such a way so that the field can still be used for the many other sporting activities it plays host to.

“We usually have tournaments here, and we can still get three football pitches in here,” Mr Lambert continued.

“And we can now do a proper cross country trail, so actually we’ve enhanced the space quite a lot. I’m really pleased with it.”

Prior to cutting the ribbon, Holly fielded questions from pupils covering everything from her success so far to her daily training routine, plus her favourite foods and her weakness for chocolate. Pupils also got a glimpse at Holly’s growing medal collection.

Headteacher Mr Lambert added: “It just shows the athletics and sports scene in the Andover area is thriving, and we are very happy to have a sporting celebrity come in.”