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Last Updated: Monday, 11 June 2007, 08:25 GMT 09:25 UK
Olympian in school sports drive
Kelly Holmes
Dame Kelly won 800m and 1500m gold at the 2004 Games in Athens
Double Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes is visiting schools across the North East to encourage more youngsters to take part in sport.

The National School Sport Champion wants 85% of young people doing at least two hours sport per week.

On Monday she will meet pupils at All Saints College, Newcastle, Farringdon Community Sports College, Sunderland and Longfield School in Darlington.

It is hoped that she can inspire more children to be passionate about sport.

Dame Kelly, who retired from athletics two years ago after capturing 800m and 1500m gold at the 2004 Games in Athens, is the first National School Sport Champion.

'Reap benefits'

Her role was created as part of a government drive to boost PE in schools, to find out why some pupils were not keen on sport.

She said: "Sport has been an enormous part of my life so I'm very passionate about how children can get involved in all types of sporting activity.

"I'm excited about visiting students in Newcastle, Sunderland and Darlington where hopefully I will help inspire more young people to be the best they can be in sport whether that's as volunteers, young leaders or participants."

Steve Grainger, Youth Sport Trust's chief executive, said the schools had already made great strides in motivating young people to take up sport, and that Dame Kelly's visit would help them continue to "reap the benefits".

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