Page last updated at 18:16 GMT, Thursday, 26 March 2009

Pupil's Olympic goal inspires study

School Reporters filming
The School Reporters learnt about physical and mental strength

The Olympic aspirations of a classmate provided inspiration for School Reporters in Essex when they took part in this year's News Day.

Young reporter Heather, who's 14, is training hard in the hope of being selected for Team GB as a swimmer at the London Olympics in 2012.

Her friends at Colne Community School in Colchester decided to examine exactly what it takes to become an Olympian.

To do this they interviewed Tom Cudmore, who helps run the sports science facility at the University of Essex.

'Truly inspiring'

The group got the chance to try some of the equipment at the university's Human Performance Unit - including monitoring how their bodies responded to a cycle sprint and doing a jump test to measure their lower-body strength.

School Reporter Luke, 14, said: "We found out just how hard you have to train to make it. It's not just about physical ability - but mental strength too."

Teacher Simon Hankinson said: "It has been a fantastic day. The group have been real workhorses - their focus has been truly inspiring."


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