YOUNGSTERS at a York primary school got to meet a real life hero of the Commonwealth Games.

York City Baths Club Commonwealth gold medal-winning swimmer James Wilby, 20, from Strensall, launched Lakeside School's Superhero theme, encouraging all of its pupils to believe in themselves and aim high.

Launching the new project alongside his former primary school teacher, Debbie Cousins, who is now Lakeside’s head teacher, James recalled his old school years and gave the students an insight into how his dedication and hard work had enabled him to compete in this year’s international games in Glasgow.

The superhero project at the school aims to encourage every child to "believe in their inner superhero and aim high to achieve their goals". The work will run across all subjects and all classes with a number of activities throughout the next few weeks to make lessons engaging and exciting and boost each pupil's self belief.

James, who won gold in the men's 4 × 100 metre medley relay, said: “It was such an honour to be able to stand in front of Lakeside pupils to launch the superhero theme. The children had so many questions about how I competed in the Commonwealth Games and were so excited about the fun things that will be happening over the next few weeks at the school. ”

Mrs Cousins said: “Being a local York lad and competing in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow made James the perfect choice to launch our Superhero initiative at school. The children were absolutely in awe of him when he came into meet them, especially when we showed them all a video of his race.

“I remember teaching James when he was just seven years old. He was such a talented and dedicated student at such a young age I am not surprised that he has gone one to achieve such amazing things.”