When former Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle visited Spilsby King Edward VI Academy she found time to speak to Lee Croft on the Skegness Standard sports desk about her life, work and career.
Beth is Britain’s most decorated gymnast, winning bronze at the 2012 Olympics, a triple World Champion, a six-time European Champion, a Commonwealth Champion and seven-times National Champion.
When asked why she felt it important to visit schools, Beth said: “It’s just making kids realise that they can have a dream and that they can achieve it - because they quite often see you on TV achieving and they think it’s because you are something special. It’s not, it’s just hard work and if you can get access to them and let them see the medal and be part of it for a day, they realise that it is achievable.
“And I think that if I can put a smile on one kid’s face, then that’s my job done for the day.”
Talking about the potentially career threatening injuries sustained - and having bounced back from those disappointments - realising her dreams could have easily been dashed, she realises she is fortunate to be able to spread her message.
Beth said: “Not every child is into sport either, but it shows that positive thinking can be put into other aspects of their lives.
“Whether they want to become the best author, or best whatever, through hard work to get it they can realise their dreams.”
Following retirement, Beth told The Standard how she is focusing her energies on working at inspiring children through sport of any kind, not necessarily at elite-level.
She believes a lot can be achieved from just going to a sports club.
She said: “They meet new friends, acquire social and time organisational skills and these skills can be used throughout life.”
Beth will continue building on the legacy of London 2012 and inspiring the next generation.
With the Commonwealth Games coming up in Glasgow this summer, Beth has been chosen as an ambassador with Team England.
Her aim is to replicate the same ‘buzz’ which accompanied the 2012 London Olympics for the Commonwealth Games.
She also wants to encourage children to support their home nation.
Beth also has her own gymnastics academies which work around the country to entice children to engage in sport through after-school clubs, called Total Gymnastics.
“I will never walk away from my sport - it’s been too much of a big part of my life”, Beth added.