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World champion sprinter Adam Gemili opens block at Wentworth Primary School, Dartford

Even better than winning gold...

World champion sprinter Adam Gemili returned to his old primary school and said meeting children in front of a new school block with his name on it was better than winning a medal.

Adam, who won gold as part of Great Britain’s sprint relay team in this year’s World Championships, returned to Wentworth Primary School on Thursday, where he spoke to children, staff and the construction team behind the new Adam Gemili block.

Sprinter Adam Gemili is welcomed by headteacher Paul Langridge and pupils at his old school
Sprinter Adam Gemili is welcomed by headteacher Paul Langridge and pupils at his old school

“It’s brilliant to be back and the reception I got from the kids was fantastic,” he said. “To walk in and see this crazy building with my name plastered on the side of it - it’s really humbling to know that I’m going to be in the school sort of forever. It’s really nice. I’ve had some great memories here and it’s lovely to be back.”

Asked whether the reception topped winning a medal, he said: “Yes, I think so I. I feel more emotional to walk in and see it, and for all the kids to be waving, it’s the best feeling in the world. It’s a different type of euphoria.

“When you win gold as a team you can celebrate, but here it’s nice to come back to where it all started for me, where my roots are, where we live as a family - we’re from Dartford so it’s lovely to back. I love it here.”

Among the children that met him was Harrison Wright, 8, who said seeing Adam was “like a miracle”.

“It was really good,” he said. “I asked him if he could be fast enough to beat me in an Olympic games - that is really funny.

“He said he didn’t run everywhere, he just ran when he was training. This is like a miracle to me, I’ve never actually seen any kind of sprinter like this guy - he is just amazing.”

Head teacher Paul Langridge, said it was fantastic having Adam back at the school.

“Adam as a past pupil has always maintained contact with us,” he said. He came back after the 2012 Olympics, always maintained contact and it was a great pleasure having him back today.

“I remember Adam extremely well - a very talented sportsman - he played for the Chelsea Academy for about seven years. He was a very fast runner even then but his main concentration then was on football. In reality it was no surprise when he got involved in athletics because he always had that natural speed.”

He said the level of excitement had been building at the school in the days running up to the visit.

“They know Adam quite well, and he’s very involved in the local community, “ he added. “Obviously he’s an ex pupil of Dartford Grammar School as well as us. He involves himself in the lives of both schools and the kids see him as a great source of inspiration.”

The new Adam Gemili block, which opened at the start of this term, includes eight classrooms and is fitted with state of art teaching technology, including interactive “smartboard” technology, wifi throughout and computers.

The £1.3 million project was overseen by Built Offsite, which used new building technology to construct the block in five months. Rather than building from scratch on location, the block is comprised of a series of “boxes” which were manufactured in Shrewsbury and then transported down to be put together at the primary school.

Adam’s return to Wentworth comes a month after he went back to his secondary school – Dartford Grammar – where he officially opened a new running track.

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