Pupils and teachers alike were ‘inspired’ when an Olympic athlete visited a Dorchester school.

Students at Manor Park First School took part in a rigorous fitness activity led by Olympic swimmer and European gold medalist Amy Smith.

The event was part of the Sports for Schools scheme which brings the country’s top athletes to primary schools to inspire children across the UK to get involved in sport.

Amy put pupils, and even some of their teachers, through their paces during the fitness circuit which saw students undertake one minute bursts of activity including exercises such as press ups, star jumps and leg drives.

She said: “The idea is to try and get kids excited about getting active and seeing the difference in their energy levels before and after taking part.”

Amy added it had been proven that taking part in physical activity actually helped children perform better academically.

After the fitness session, Amy gave a 30-minute assembly talking to the pupils about her own personal journey.

“I hope to inspire them to work really hard in whatever they do. Some who are more sporty may find the session more relatable but it’s more about teaching the kids, whatever your passion is, work hard at it,” she said.

During her swimming career Amy was member of team GB for more than a decade, competing in the 2012 Olympics and taking home medals at the Commonwealth Games and European Championships.

She retired from swimming in 2014 and has since focused her attention on inspiring the next generation.

Year three class teacher Rachel Savage said: “It’s amazing. When they come in they are really quiet but by the time they leave they are pumped up. Their excitement level rises as they go through it.”

She added the children had been very excited about the visit and had been researching Amy and her career before she arrived.

Lois Joyce, aged eight, said: “I’m really happy Amy came to the school because she is an athlete and I have always wanted to meet an athlete.”

Pupil, Isla Rollett, also eight, added: “Amy swam in the Olympics and got medals and it’s really exciting that she came to our school to get active with us.”

The Sports for Schools programme operates through a fundraising initiative in which the children are encouraged to obtain sponsorship to take part in and complete the fitness circuits.

Part of the money raised goes back to the scheme to help support the Athletes in their training and to cover the costs of organising each event. The rest goes to the school to spend on new PE equipment.

Ms Savage said not only was the initiative beneficial for the school but it was a proud moment for them to be able to support Great British athletes.