Olympic stars join Lichfield students at sports science event

The science of sport has been on the agenda at a special event in Lichfield.

Year five pupils from across the area visited Lichfield Cathedral School for the latest in the Inspiring Science series.

Gail Emms, Howard Davies, Alex Welburn and Rebecca Bedford with students at the Inspiring Science event

Gail Emms, Howard Davies, Alex Welburn and Rebecca Bedford with students at the Inspiring Science event

Coaches from Aston Villa ran sessions in sport science, coaching and the sport nutrition for more than 200 children.

The event also saw the school officially launched as the first BECSLink Centre in the Midlands.

BECSLInk is a social enterprise that seeks to bring together business, education, charities and sport to enrich the lives of young people.

Lichfield Cathddral School headteacher Susan Hannam said: “The aim of this event was to show our intent to be a School that pioneers the BECSLink model of community engagement and in this instance we ran an event that inspired children to learn more about how science is important within the context of sport.

“Our focus in the future will be on not just outreach opportunities but also scholarships for the most needy in our community and particularly in the areas of music and science.

“Events of this kind encourage children to see beyond the stereotypical portrayal of scientists and to understand the critical importance of science to every aspect of life, even on a football pitch.

“We are particularly grateful to Zeiss as their support has enabled us to encourage more pupils to take an interest in science, technology, engineering and maths, essential if this country is to avoid a skills shortage in the future.”

Children also got to meet a number of sports stars, including badminton Olympic silver medallists Gail Emms and Nathan Robertson, from Aston Villa star Ian Taylor and three-time Olympic hockey player and former Lichfield Cathedral School student Howard Davies.

There were also appearances from 17-year-old Yoxall Paralympic hopeful Rebecca Bedford and professional mountain biker Alex Welburn from Kings Bromley.

Susan added: “We were delighted to be joined by athletes who have achieved international success and local athletes who aspire to future greatness.

“It has been hugely rewarding for us to see the children’s excitement and enthusiasm for science. It is important to engage children at a young age and show them in creative ways that science is both fun and important.”

Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.