Youngsters were put through their paces by a former GB athlete.

Montell Douglas, sprinter and former British record holder for the 100m, spent a day and at Hillyfield Primary Academy, in Walthamstow.

Pupils took part in fitness circuits while raising money for Sports for Champions, a campaign which takes professional athletes into schools to inspire children to lead healthy lifestyles.

Montell, who also formed part of the Great Britain two-woman bobsleigh team, shared her athletic journey and told of how a bad injury before the Commonwealth Games left her believing she would not compete again.

A year later, she won a gold medal.

Ben Anderson, PE specialist, said: “Montell got the message across to children that by focussing on the positive and moving forward she was able to get back to full strength.

“That was a really positive message. Having that inspiration really lifted the children who have all said already they want to achieve great things.

“The children have absolutely loved the circuits. Everybody has been engaged and joining in; it has been a really exciting time.”

Montell said: “Today’s digital world takes away from getting up and moving. I’m trying to put some of that back and giving children an opportunity to rediscover a world of play. That’s how I got into sport, by enjoying it and finding I was good at it.

“I just wanted them to learn about my journey and to have a think about what they are good at and what they want to do.”

Mr Anderson added: “Research shows physical activity boosts memory and concentration, lowers blood pressure and encourages better behaviour. These sessions set pupils up for the day.

“We are going to use this visit to push that further.”