British sprinter Joy Eze reunited with former teacher and his new pupils at primary school in Ashington
and live on Freeview channel 276
The athlete was taught by the school’s headteacher Michael Moran when she was in year four at St Alban’s Catholic Primary School in Walker, Newcastle and he had just started his teaching career.
Joy met with year five and six pupils at the school and spoke to them about her sporting achievements, which include winning the British Universities 60m title in March this year and becoming the European u20 100m champion in August.
She said: “I enjoyed the enthusiasm of the pupils and welcomed their inquisitive questions.
“It is important to have self confidence and a drive to do your best, irrespective of what others do, but meeting people who have excelled helps us realise that they are not super humans and learning their stories can help to motivate and inspire others.”
Mr Moran remembers well the time he took Joy to the county championships in Hexham where, despite only being in year four, she ran in the u11 age category and won.
She was normally coached by the school’s headteacher Mike Donelly, who remains Joy’s coach today, but he was unable to make that event.
Mr Moran said: “I have got a video of her running and you can hear me shouting encouragement.
“I really like the fact that someone I have taught has gone on to be so successful and has the potential to be so much more successful.
“If we can see any small aspect of talent we try to give our pupils the chance to shine in whatever they are good at. If we can play a tiny role in their journey, then I am sure they will be coming to visit younger pupils in the same way in the future.”
Joy has always felt “supported and encouraged” by her teachers, and that her time at school helped her make the most of her talent.
The 19-year-old said: “I have never had any pressure applied on my performances, other than what I have put on myself.
“I remember Mr Moran as an excellent teacher and motivator. It is wonderful to see him as a headteacher helping to guide pupils on their learning journeys.”