A leading international athlete has been inspiring primary school pupils to get involved in sport.
Keith Gerrard spoke to Manor Park Primary School pupils about his accomplishments as a Great Britain and Isle of Man international distance runner.
The school invites role models to be the honorary captain at its Captain’s Table – a reward scheme it runs.
Keith – who went to Marown Primary School and Queen Elizabeth II High School – played for Union Mills FC and it was getting fit for matches that led to him discovering a talent for running.
His career took off when, at 16, he entered the Easter Athletics Festival in just football shorts and a T-shirt and nearly beat Manx Harriers’ stalwart Andy Fox. Andy then invited him to join his training group.
Keith chatted about his time competing for Great Britain in the 10,000 metres in the 2012 European Track and Field Championships and winning the British Cross Country Championships in 2012 and 2013, as well as his participation in last summer’s Commonwealth Games.
Inspired by Keith’s visit yesterday, the school is launching a cross country club and will again enter a team in the Isle of Man Primary Schools’ Cross Country Championships, which take place on 19 March at Noble’s Park.
Manx Sport and Recreation (MSR’s) 10-year Strategy for Sport emphasises the importance of young people getting involved in, and regularly participating in, sport.
Trevor Christian, Community Sports Development Officer with MSR, said:
‘Through his visit, Keith highlighted to children how much enjoyment they can have through sport and he has spread the important message, contained within the strategy, of having more people more active more often.’