A GOLD medal-winning athlete paid a visit to pupils at a Hartlepool school.
Around 250 youngsters from Manor College of Technology, in Owton Manor Lane, Hartlepool, were delighted to welcome Craig Heap to their school.
The retired Commonwelath Games gold medal-winning gymnast treated the 12 and 13-year-olds to a motivational talk about the trials and tribulations in his career before posing for pictures with them.
The Burnley-born 40-year-old star, who has represented England more than 100 times, visited the school as part of a programme called Be The Best You Can Be – which aims to inspire young people despite the challenges they might face at school or at home.
And teacher Alan Lowes, head of Year 8, said all the pupils thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
He said: “The kids were motivated for three hours, it was brilliant. They were engaged and interested and were asking lots of questions.
“Craig gave them lots of examples of injuries and set-backs and how he overcame them.
“He talked about what it was like to train six times a day for nearly 15 years.”
He added: “I’m sure they will take this away and use it to their advantage.”