Star tuition at Rawmarsh

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AN OLYMPIC athlete is to visit Rawmarsh to mentor the town’s own budding sports stars.

Rawmarsh Community School pupils will benefit from mentoring from either Double Commonwealth Champion swimmer Chris Cook, or 2009 World Champion bobsleigher Nicola Minichiello.

These sports stars are to join Olympic sprint legend Darren Campbell in visiting schools to help improve the lives of thousands of young people.

It is the ninth year that Sky Living for Sport has run the initiative, along with the Youth Sports Trust.

And every Athlete Mentor has been specially selected by the Trust because of his or her own inspiring journey to overcome difficulties and achieve success.

Chris Cook represented his country for 10 years, but said he always struggled at school.

Now in his third year as an Athlete Mentor, Chris said: “I wanted to put something back into sport and young people’s lives that I feel I have learnt in my time being a sportsman.

“I feel my role as an Athlete Mentor goes beyond just trying to inspire...we offer techniques and words of encouragement to help build a young person’s confidence to follow what they believe in. We offer them an insight into the mindset of a world class athlete to enable them to realise that they can do it too”.

Recently retired from international swimming, Chris’ dedication and determination to succeed has paid off with a career he can look back on, as one that has rewarded him with international medals, national records, personal pride and a degree.

Nicola Minichiello and Gillian Cooke became the first British women to win the world bobsleigh title in 2009, but they crashed out at the Vancouver Olympics a year later.

Nicola then tok up a role as head development coach at the International Bobsleigh Federation (FIBT).

She competed at three Winter Olympics and won silver at the 2005 World Championships before getting the gold with Cooke at New York. She later set up the British youth squad. A final announcement on who will come to Rawmarsh will be made shortly.