PRIMARY school pupils were given the chance to interview the only athlete to hold two Olympic titles in the triathlon event, as part of a news-related challenge day.

The Year 5 children at Outwood Primary Academy(OPA) Alne, in Main Street in Alne in North Yorkshire, took part in the challenge which saw all Year 5 children from an Outwood Grange Academies Trust sponsored school take part.

The children were set the task of creating their own ‘newspaper’ in a day, which led to them becoming reporters, editors and journalists to produce a school newspaper.

As part of the challenge the children spoke with Alistair Brownlee MBE, the winner of gold medals in the Triathlon at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games.

In addition to his sporting achievements, Alistair alongside his brother Jonny created and runs the Brownlee Foundation, which aims to inspire children from all backgrounds to enjoy sport, encourage them to lead active lifestyles and benefit from the opportunities sport provides.

Michelle Dawson, Principal at OPA Alne, said: “We are very grateful to Alistair for his video call because you could see how inspired the children were hearing his story and how fascinated they were when discussing his success and the work of the Brownlee Foundation.”

The Brownlee Foundation enjoys strong links with Outwood Primary schools, who were all involved in the Brownlee Foundation Personal Best Challenge in July 2021. This saw all Outwood Primary children identifying an activity to focus on and secure a personal best in, with all children being awarded a Brownlee Foundation medal on completion, in addition to being sent a personalised video message to introduce them to the challenge.

During his interview, the double Olympic gold medalist gave the children this advice: “The best bit of advice I can offer anyone is just to try, if you get the opportunity, anything you can.

“I think that’s in everything, whether it’s in sports, arts, music and everything else because ultimately you don’t know what your passion is, or what will inspire you, or what you’ll enjoy doing.”

The children also quizzed staff at their schools as they wrote articles about the local community.

Lee Wilson, Chief Executive Principal of Outwood Primary, said: “A huge thank you to everybody who gave up their time to be part of the News Day. The children really enjoyed the challenge of piecing together a paper from different sources of information, while being taught about a range of subjects by different people.”

As The Press previously reported, the school, formerly Alne Primary School, became part of the Outwood Grange Academies Trust - which also includes Easingwold secondary, last year.