Leon Baptiste encourages students to have healthy relationships, healthy bodies and healthy minds - Thistley Hough Academy

A unique learning event allowed our students to learn about all aspects of their physical and mental health, from tackling tough exercise circuits alongside GB gold medallist Leon Baptiste to staying safe online and making sensible eating choices.

The entire Academy was buzzing with activity as representatives from Stoke City FC, The Donna Louise Trust, Stoke-on-Trent College, Newcastle College and the City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College to name a few, tackled topics from keeping safe online to healthy eating, sexual health and healthy relationships.

This action-packed active learning day builds on the knowledge students regularly receive through the Academy’s ongoing participation in the Whole Population Health Project which runs in partnership with the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust and Stoke-on-Trent City Council.

Leon, who won gold medals in the 2010 Commonwealth Games, inspired students with his personal story of training, overcoming injury and reaching the top of his sport. He said: “I’ve been going into schools now for about 10 years helping to promote healthy and active lifestyles for Sports for Champions UK.

“The key thing to get across is that it’s all about doing a little physical activity every day and thinking about the eating and lifestyle choices you make.

“It’s also about developing their mental resilience, as I sustained a serious knee injury at 14 which ended my aspirations of continuing in football. Because of that I made the transition to athletics and then represented GB at the European Junior Championships.

“At 21 I had to have knee surgery and it took a while to get my confidence back and compete again, and it’s important for students to develop that mental determination and know that if they want something they have to work for it.

“They see people on TV and think what they’ve achieved looks easy, but there’s always a story of hard work behind them.”

The circuits completed alongside Leon raised more than £693 which will not only support British athletes with their training but also help improve the sports facilities offered at the Academy.

Any parents or pupils interested in finding out more about the facilities and enrichment opportunities we offer at our academy can call us on 01782 883500 to arrange a visit.

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