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Team GB sprinter Adam Gemili returns to Wentworth Primary School in Dartford as part of myphizz campaign to get kids physically active


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Team GB sprinter Adam Gemili has returned to his roots to "inspire as many kids" as he can to become more physically active.

The World Championship gold medallist dropped in at Wentworth Primary in Dartford to share his Olympic experiences and stress the importance of sport and exercise after a lockdown lull.

Team GB sprinter Adam Gemili returns to Wentworth Primary School

Pupil's lifestyles have become more sedentary during the pandemic and opportunities for physical exercise were limited.

To counteract this former Wentworth pupil Adam has teamed up with new tech platform myphizz and teachers at the school in an attempt to boost physical activity levels outside of the classroom.

The 28-year-old track and field star still lives "two minutes down the road" and also attended Dartford Grammar School.

Despite a jet-setting career which has seen the former Chelsea FC Academy prospect race against and beat some of the fastest men alive – including Usain Bolt – the self-confessed Dartford boy says he has never forgotten his roots.

In a speech delivered to pupils at his former primary school this morning the relay star encouraged kids to work hard and be proud of where they come from.

Adam and year five pupils outside the block named after the Olympic sprinter. Photo: Sean Delaney
Adam and year five pupils outside the block named after the Olympic sprinter. Photo: Sean Delaney

During his visit, Adam also set a series of ‘phizz’ challenges which saw the children take part in a variety of physical activities from jumping and running to the dreaded burpees.

myphizz, which launched in September 2021, was designed and developed by four friends and qualified teachers turned entrepreneurs to boost children's health and wellbeing.

The tech, which runs through secure networks, is only visible to schools and can be accessed via PC, tablets or mobile phones.

Speaking to KentOnline, Adam said he was "super excited" to be back at his former school.

"I love it, it's crazy, they always give me such a warm reception when I come here," he said. "The kids are always so energetic and so confident and they're just brilliant."

"If I can have a little part in their journey that means a lot to me."

"I love it, it's crazy, they always give me such a warm reception when I come here."

But the sprinter's return to school also formed part of an important message to get kids back exercising.

Adam said: “Teachers and schools have a responsibility to instil a love for exercise in pupils.

"Regardless of ability levels, there is an activity for everyone and new tools such as myphizz can help children to find activities they enjoy and facilitate an increased level of inclusivity through active challenges.

The myphizz brand ambassador added: "It's been so hard to see with the pandemic and stuff and how many schools did close, the physical and mental wellbeing of all these kids has sort of deteriorated and they are not as active as they were.

"It's super important that we get that back up and companies like myphizz really go out of their way to make that happen."

Adam hopes to "inspire as many kids as he can" and believes the app, which includes a live leaderboard and various challenges can make a real difference.

Adam Gemili took part in a series of sport and exercise drills with the children. Photo: Sean Delaney
Adam Gemili took part in a series of sport and exercise drills with the children. Photo: Sean Delaney

Physical activity among pupils fell dramatically during the pandemic, with more than 31% of children undertaking less than 30 minutes of exercise a day, according to research by Sport England.

Ofsted recommends that pupils engage in a minimum of 60 minutes of exercise per day, per week.

Lewis Pollock, head teacher at Wentworth Primary said: "We've had a lot of interruption to all our normal programmes that would of run.

"We have had sports fixtures that have been interrupted and lots of other things so it's really important now that we give children the chance to take a little ownership over their physical activity and own wellbeing through something like myphizz and see if the children can sort of run with it and we can really make a difference to their wellbeing."

He added: “It was absolutely brilliant to welcome Adam back to Wentworth Primary and see the children listen intently to all he had to say about his experiences with sport.

"It was great to see them get excited about using myphizz with Adam, which we are currently rolling out in school. We can’t wait to see its full benefits throughout the next term.”

Adam put pupils through their paces in a series of myphiz exercises. Photo: Sean Delaney
Adam put pupils through their paces in a series of myphiz exercises. Photo: Sean Delaney

It's not the first time the sprinter has returned home to pay a visit to pupils.

In 2017 Adam attended the opening of the Gemili block which includes eight classrooms fitted with state-of-the-art teaching technology, including interactive “smartboard” technology, wifi throughout and computers.

During the pandemic, he made a donation towards the school to ensure tech-deprived kids didn't miss out on learning.

This summer, the Dartford sprinter goes to the Birmingham Commonwealth Games with unfinished business.

After 100m silver in his first Commonwealth Games at Glasgow 2014 – and team gold at the 2017 World Championships for TeamGB – the Blackheath & Bromley AC member set his sights on individual glory four years later in Australia.

However, an inner thigh injury ruled him out of the 100m final and since then he has struggled to find his best form after bursting onto the scene at the London Olympics in 2012.

His injury curse struck again at Tokyo 2020 last summer when he pulled out of the 200m heats with a hamstring problem.

Adam Gemili is training for the upcoming Commonwealth Games. Picture: Alzheimer's Society
Adam Gemili is training for the upcoming Commonwealth Games. Picture: Alzheimer's Society

Outside of sport Adam has also made several TV appearances, most recently on celebrity editions of ITV's The Chase and Channel 4's Gogglebox.

And whilst fit and enjoying competing again, life after sport is also something Adam is now beginning to contemplate.

"I only live two minutes down the road so every time I am home I try to come and see the school or go to the local track and help out coaching the young athletes," he said.

"It's something I'm truly passionate about and definitely something I can see myself doing in life after sport which is probably not going to be that many years away from now."

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