AN ANDOVER school has welcomed a gold medal paralympian who spoke to pupils about how he overcame challenges thrown at him in life.

Aaron Phipps won gold at the Tokyo Paralympics as part of the Team GB wheelchair rugby team.

Born in Southampton, Aaron contracted meningitis when he was just 15 and was extremely poorly for a long time. To save his life, both of Aaron’s legs and all of his fingers were amputated and he spent a lot of time learning how to walk and do simple activities again.

He visited Portway Junior School last week to talk to pupils about his paralympic journey and how he navigated life's challenges.

Speaking about the paralympian's visit, deputy headteacher Vicky Windross said: "As well as describing his determination and hard work to achieve the gold medal, Aaron also spoke with pupils about his adventures on Kilimanjaro. Aaron climbed the highest mountain in Africa to raise money for the meningitis charity.

"It took six days to do so and Aaron was determined to do this himself, despite his supporting team offering to carry him. After his wheelchair got stuck on day two, Aaron padded his knees with padding from B&Q and crawled his way to the summit of the mountain!

"Aaron’s visit to our school has been nothing short of inspirational. Paralympic athletes are often described as being ‘superhuman superheroes’ and, after spending the day with Aaron, we can all conclude that he is most definitely a superhero.

"It has been clear, through all of Aaron’s talks with the children, that this superhero status has been achieved through setting goals, working hard and asking for help where it is needed; things that any of us can do. All of us at Portway Junior have been completely inspired by Aaron’s example of courage, determination and excellence!"

Team GB beat the USA in the final of the sport dubbed 'murderball' earlier this year. Phipps described victory as 'beyond [his] wildest dreams' in an interview.